Man arrested in Columbia Co. after stealing vehicle with sleeping woman inside
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A man was arrested in Columbia County early Saturday morning after stealing a vehicle with a sleeping woman inside.
Just before 3:30 a.m. Saturday, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office started receiving calls from an adult female reporting that she was being driven around by an unknown male and did not know where they were going.
The woman had been stopped at a truck stop on CTH CS in Dekorra Township in Columbia County. She said her family had entered the gas station while she was sleeping in the back seat of the vehicle.
When she awoke, the unknown man was driving at high speeds and refused to release the woman, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said the woman was able to stay in communication with dispatch and provide location information. The county dispatch received further calls from the vehicle owner at the truck stop, reporting the vehicle stolen and giving tracking location information.
Just after 4 a.m., a Columbia County Deputy saw the vehicle traveling westbound on HWY 188 in West Point Township. The driver attempted to escape deputies and troopers with Wisconsin State Patrol as they pursued the vehicle. Tire deflation devices were successfully used, but the driver continued to drive on the vehicle rims after losing the tires.
The vehicle went off the roadway as it continued to drive and crashed into several objects. Deputies and troopers were able to stop the vehicle after it became disabled in a parking lot. Officials then safely took the driver into custody and ensured the female victim was uninjured.
The suspect was identified as a 51-year-old man from the state of New York. The Sheriff’s Office said the man was believed to be under the influence of a controlled substance.
A vehicle belonging to the suspect was also located at the truck stop where the vehicle was stolen from. The Sheriff’s Office said a search of that vehicle resulted in the recovery of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
The suspect was booked into the Columbia County Jail on charges of felony eluding, operating a motor vehicle without consent, false imprisonment, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, reckless driving endangering safety, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Additional charges and traffic citations are expected.
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