Skip to main content

Wheatland Sun

Wanted Felon Who Fled Courthouse Captured in Utah

Apr 29, 2022 12:00AM ● By Butte County District Attorney Press Release

BUTTE COUNTY, CA (MPG) - A former Butte County resident wanted on two felony warrants after fleeing from Butte County Superior Court last month was captured in Utah on April 20, 2022. 

District Attorney Mike Ramsey said Kipp Ford, 40, formerly of Gridley and Chico, was found hiding in a Utah garage in an upper wall storage cabinet by local police. He was taken to a local jail where he is being held without bail pending extradition to Butte County. 

Ramsey said Ford had been charged in Butte County with multiple felony counts of construction fraud and was due in Butte County Superior Court on March 16, 2022, after previously bailing out of jail on those charges. He however failed to appear at court on that date and instead sent a signed excuse through his attorney that he was supposedly unable to appear due to a construction job he had in Colorado. Ramsey said an investigation into that excuse showed it to be false and his office filed a new felony charge of filing a false document with the court. 

That new complaint was awaiting Ford, when he appeared out-of-custody in court two weeks later on March 30, 2022. When the judge read the new felony complaint, Ford’s surprised attorney asked the judge if he could speak to Ford outside of the courtroom. The in-court prosecutor expressed her concern that Ford would not return to the courtroom if the court granted his attorney’s request. The judge warned Ford that if he failed to return to the courtroom, there would be consequences. 

Approximately 30 minutes later, Ford’s attorney returned to the courtroom without his client. The attorney explained to the judge that Ford said he had to get something out of his truck, but never returned. The judge immediately issued no-bail arrest warrants for Ford’s arrest. 

Ford’s attorney later conducted interviews with local media outlets where he claimed his client left the courthouse due to an “emergency.”

Ramsey said Ford previously lived in both Chico and Gridley, but more recently, he had been tied to Utah, Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico. Ramsey said his office received multiple tips as to Ford’s current whereabouts, which were used to locate him in Utah. 

Ramsey said his investigators contacted the Herriman Police Department in Utah and requested their assistance in locating Ford. Herriman Police officers conducted surveillance and were able to locate Ford’s truck parked near a girlfriend’s townhouse. Officers contacted the girlfriend, who allowed officers to search her home, claiming she did not know where Ford was. 

Ramsey said officers searched the girlfriend’s house and then its garage, and noticed a footprint on a box, which was directly below an upper wall storage cabinet. An officer tried to open the cabinet door, but it would not open. Finding no lock on the cabinet door, the officers forcibly opened the door and found Ford curled inside the cabinet trying to hold the door closed. 

Ramsey, amused by the image of Ford in the fetal position hiding in the cabinet, said, “It must have been one heck of an emergency.” 

Ford was placed under arrest and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail, where he will remain in custody until extradited to Butte County.