Crime

Manhunt, chase through Blue Springs ends with arrest of man who allegedly stole cars

Blue Springs police search for stolen car suspect

Blue Springs police searched for man who was driving a suspected stolen car on Dec. 22, 2016. The man crashed when police tried to stop him and allegedly displayed a handgun. An officer fired a shot at the man before he fled.
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Blue Springs police searched for man who was driving a suspected stolen car on Dec. 22, 2016. The man crashed when police tried to stop him and allegedly displayed a handgun. An officer fired a shot at the man before he fled.

A manhunt began early Thursday in Blue Springs when officers sought to pull over a suspected stolen vehicle and the driver abandoned it and ran off, displaying a handgun. The incident ended hours later with a pursuit and police wrestling a man from another stolen car in Independence.

The dramatic morning started when Blue Springs officers spotted a suspected stolen vehicle and tried to pull it over. The man driving the car crashed near Haldex Brakes Systems in the 2400 block of Coronado Drive.

“The suspect exited the vehicle and displayed a weapon,” said Deputy Chief Bob Muenz with the Blue Springs Police Department. “The officers shot at the suspect.”

The man fled on foot north across Interstate 70 into a wooded area near Lake Remembrance. Police later found an assault-type rifle near a fence where the man had fled.

The man might have been trying to load the rifle during the confrontation with police, Muenz said.

After the man fled across the interstate, police set up a perimeter, generally bounded by Tyer Road to the east, Duncan Road to the north, Adams Dairy Parkway to the west and I-70 to the south.

Officers from several area police agencies swarmed the area to help search for the man, bringing in police dogs and a drone.

During the search, the man allegedly broke into a Blue Springs home in the area of 20th Street and Duncan Road. He took a maroon Mazda 6, threatening the resident with a gun, said Sgt. John Payne, a spokesman for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

“Several of our units pick up that car after she reported it stolen,” Payne said.

Police pursued the car in a high-speed chase from Blue Springs to Independence, where it ended near 23rd Street South and Cottage Street about 9 a.m.

The man reportedly continued to resist and fight with officers. Officers eventually wrestled him from the car to the ground. The man was taken to a hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries.

Shots were fired in the area where the pursuit ended, Payne said. He couldn’t comment on who fired the shots, saying that it was part of the investigation.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in a statement that there have been too many dangerous situations in recent days caused by people fleeing police.

“Let me be clear, fleeing from police will endanger innocent members of the community, law enforcement and the persons in the vehicle fleeing police,” she said. “You will not get away. Pull over, act responsibly. Do not endanger more lives attempting to avoid police.”

Someone fleeing police will face additional charges — potentially felony murder if someone dies as a result — and higher bond requests, she said.

Robert A. Cronkleton: 816-234-4261, @cronkb

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