Columbia man takes police on wild chase
Suspect shoplifts, drives off in police car after being handcuffed and shackled, breaks into home and jumps into the lake to evade authorities
A Columbia man suspected of shoplifting sent police on a chase around the lake area that included multiple attempts to carjack a vehicle, and taking off with a police car after being handcuffed and shackled.
According to the City of Lake Ozark, the incident began around 3 p.m. Saturday, August 14 when the Lake Ozark Police Department responded to a call of shoplifting at Kohl’s Department Store in Eagles’ Landing.
The reporting party was an employee just getting off work and was in the parking lot when he called the LOPD. He was being followed by the suspect into the Marcus Theatre parking lot. Two of the LOPD officers arrived, blocked in the suspect’s car (later determined to be stolen from Columbia a week prior) when the suspect rammed one of LOPD cars and got away. The pursuit ensued on Bagnell Dam Blvd. where the suspect hit another vehicle in traffic head-on in the Break Time/JB Hooks area. The suspect then left the scene and drove past the post office and instead of turning into Woods Supermarket, drove straight off the roadway, down an incline and then went off the first layer of the cliff above the Rt. MM highway, stopping just short of going off the cliff onto MM highway.
The suspect got out of car, ran to the MM stoplight, attempted to carjack a car at the stoplight and was finally apprehended by a Lake Ozark Police Officer and a Miller County deputy. The suspect was handcuffed behind his back and shackled around his ankles, and placed in the back seat of a Lake Ozark patrol vehicle. Somehow the suspect was able to get his hands from behind his back (still cuffed), broke the cage partition and was able to climb into the driver’s seat, taking off with the LOPD car over the Community Toll Bridge.
A Miller County deputy and a LOPD officer had to run back up the hill to the Miller County squad car since they did not have sight of the LOPD car. In the meantime, Camden County received a call from a resident in Porto Cima that a LOPD car was crashed and the suspect attempted to steal their car. The suspect also broke into an unoccupied house in that neighborhood, stole a key for a personal watercraft and was attempting to steal that PWC when the Missouri State Water Patrol pulled up. The suspect jumped into the water and was trying to hide under a dock. An LOPD officer jumped into the water and re-apprehended the suspect (still cuffed and shackled).
“Thankfully, no one was injured in this entire incident. We have two cars with damage,” Police Chief Gary Launderville said.
The stolen car from Columbia is totaled and full of stolen property, according to the chief. The car that was hit head-on by the suspect has extensive damage. Those people were checked out by medics and released.
Multiple charges are expected to be filed in Miller and Camden County counties. The Columbia Police Department has been contacted and is familiar with the suspect.