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Columbia man arrested after police chase


A man accused of leading officers on a police chase Saturday afternoon in Lake Ozark and stealing multiple cars has been arrested.

The Lake Ozark Police Department has not identified the suspect, but says officers arrested a Columbia man in the investigation.

The pursuit began after officers responded to a shoplifting call at a Kohl’s store at Eagles Landing in Lake Ozark. Police say a man took off in a vehicle that was later determined to be stolen from Columbia, leading officers on a chase along Bagnell Dam Boulevard.

Police say the driver was involved in a head-on collision on that street.

The city of Lake Ozarks Facebook page says the suspect left the scene of the crash and eventually went over the first layer of a cliff. Police Department then took the suspect into custody, handcuffed him behind his back and shackled his ankles. He was then placed in the back of a patrol car.

While police were investigating the scene, they say the suspect was able to put his hands in front of him and break out the cage between the backseat and front seat of the car. He then took off in the stolen law enforcement vehicle.

Police say the suspect abandoned the vehicle near the Porto Cima neighborhood. He then broke into a house and stole a key to a watercraft. The suspect later was found attempting to steal the watercraft when police located him. He then attempted to hide under a dock, where he was found and then arrested by an officer.

The suspect is in custody in Miller County and faces a variety of pending charges, according to the Lake Ozark Police Department. Police say two patrol cars were damaged in the incident.

“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 was filled with stolen items. The Columbia Police Department was contacted according to the City of Lake Ozark and CPD is familiar with the suspect.

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Chanel Porter

Chanel joined ABC 17 News in January 2021 after graduating from Penn State University. She enjoys traveling and a daily iced coffee.


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