AFPD busts son of former congressman for theft

Chad Istook

The police say they booked an American Fork man early Sunday after he was caught stealing at a grocery store.

Chad Istook, the son of a former Oklahoma congressman and candidate for governor, had been convicted of two theft-related incidences in Oklahoma and Texas in previous years, according to court reports. He was also wanted by AFPD after one witness reported he stole from Fresh Market in May 2012. At that time, the witness attempted to stop him, but Istook fled in a suburban with Oklahoma plates, eluding even the police.

But Istook's luck seemed to have changed Saturday night, when he attempted to steal again, according to one witness, who observed him go behind a counter and grabbed cigarettes at Fresh Market in American Fork. The witness tried to stop him, but Istook left on foot.

AFPD officers responded to the call and reviewed the video surveillance. Officers found Istook a short distance away, and he was transported back to Fresh Market, where he was positively identified as the theft suspect.

Istook, 37, is held in Utah County jail and charged with theft with priors. In a previous case in Oklahoma, bounty hunters arrested Istook while trying to serve an arrest warrant at his home in connection with several municipal charges, including failure to appear in court. The bounty hunters knocked on Istook's front door for about 20 minutes before they finally burst in and found Istook hiding in the corner of a closet in the master bathroom, according to one report.

Istook's father, Ernest Istook, who held his congressional seat for 14 years, completing seven terms in the House, didn't comment on his son's latest arrest. In 2010, however, he issued the following statement about his son: "Our son Chad has wonderful abilities but unfortunately is in a cycle of improper behavior and depression. Overzealous media attention is making it harder for him to escape this cycle. We have made extensive private efforts to help Chad. We love him dearly. We also recognize that sometimes even loved ones must experience the consequences of their mistakes. More than anything, Chad deserves everyone’s prayers and we ask people to pray for him."

Danny Crivello can be reached at, via phone at 801-477-6397 or on Twitter.


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