A Columbia man accused of stealing a police car in Lake Ozark after his arrest is facing numerous charges in multiple Lake Area Counties.
It all started Saturday afternoon when police were called to Kohl’s on a report of shoplifting.
When officers arrived, the suspect took off after ramming one of the patrol cars and headed toward Bagnell Dam, but he crashed head-on into another car and kept going.
Police say the suspect then drove the damaged car, which had been reported stolen, off the road near MM at Woods Supermarket.
He was later arrested after he tried to carjack another car.
But officers say the hand-cuffed man was able to get his arms in front of him before he broke the cage partition in the squad car he was in.
Investigators say the man got into the front seat and drove the police car over the toll bridge, where he crashed it.
Then, he reportedly broke into a house and attempted to steal another car, was unsuccessful, so he broke into another house and stole a set of keys for a PWC.
Lake Ozark police and the Missouri State Highway Patrol Water Division later found the man under a dock in the lake, where he was taken into custody again by Corporal Green with LOPD.
This is a developing story and we’ll pass along more details when possible on News / Talk KRMS.
*****Update from Lake Ozark PD:
A little after 3 p.m. today, Saturday, 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. The reporting party was being followed by the suspect into the Marcus Theatre parking lot. Two of the LOPD officers arrived, blocked in the suspect 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 down 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 one of our officers and Miller County deputy. The suspect was handcuffed behind his back and shackled around his ankles and placed in the back seat of our car. Somehow the suspect was able to get his hands from behind his back (still cuffed), broke the cage partition and was able to climb in the driver’s seat and took off with the LOPD car over the Community Toll Bridge.
A Miller County deputy and an 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 property that has probably been stolen, 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.
Both Miller and Camden County will be getting statements of probably cause from the LOPD and both prosecutors are expected to file numerous charges. Columbia Police Department has been contacted and is familiar with the suspect.