A van stolen from Ace Hardware in McPherson was found through tracking a stolen credit card in Hutchinson.
Someone stole the van in McPherson in late morning or early afternoon Thursday, said Hutchinson Police Officer Matt Rucker. Officials there then began to track where a credit card, which was in the van when the thief took it, was being used.
“They had us check on some locations,” Rucker said. “They put out a description of the van to law enforcement in Reno County, and a state trooper happened to see it make an illegal U-turn in front of him.”
The suspect, however, detected the officers and fled, leading Hutchinson police and the Kansas Highway Patrol on about a 5-minute pursuit through Hutchinson neighborhoods about 2:30 p.m. before officers called off the chase due to public safety, according to police.
Officers later recovered the van in the 300 block of South Howard Street in Hutchinson.
The trooper began to follow the vehicle on South Poplar.
“The officer was going to wait until he got to the edge of the city to perform a stop, but someone (another officer) saw an opportunity to try to box him because he was stopped,” Rucker said. “He saw it and swerved around and the pursuit began.”
The pursuit began around Avenue F and Severance.
“It got to some pretty good speeds up north,” Rucker said, though he did not know top speeds, as the pursuit sped up and slowed down at various times. “He turn back southbound. When he hit the residential areas we discontinued the chase because of the speed and he was running stop signs.”
He didn’t know how many officers in all became involved in the pursuit, Rucker said, but there were several attempts to deploy “stop sticks” that the thief managed to avoid.
The thief apparently circled back around to areas the chase had gone through before abandoning the vehicle, a 2016 Dodge utility van.
The suspect used the credit card at at least two locations, Rucker said, and investigators believe they have the suspect on store videos, however, he had not been positively identified as of Friday morning.