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Pratt law enforcement help untangle web of stolen property and vehicles

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Pratt city police officers and Pratt County Sheriff's Department deputies were involved in tracking several stolen vehicle suspects who landed in town last week.

Pratt police officers found themselves involved in a tangled web of stolen vehicles and property last week during the late-night and early morning hours of October 11 and 12.

A vehicle reported stolen during a home invasion in Wichita was discovered parked behind a building formerly housing Aaron’s Rent to Own along Pratt’s First Street.

Police officer Jared Gilmore was investigating when two suspects jumped into a fuel truck owned by Skyland Grain that had been left at Southwest Truck Parts for repairs. Gilmore gave chase, but the suspects rammed his police car rendering it inoperable.

Luckily Gilmore was unhurt, but the suspects vacated the fuel truck just before it crashed into a car belonging to a guest at the American Inn. That car was pushed into the  American Inn building, causing significant damage.

At this point additional officers arrived at the scene and on-duty officers began to search the area for the suspects.

Back at Aaron’s Rent to Own, officers discovered a suspicious vehicle that had been hooked onto a trailer. On the trailer, officers found a 2015 Audi passenger car, the one that had been reported stolen during the Wichita home invasion.

At the time of the investigation, officers noted a wrecker leaving Southwest Truck Parts and believed it to be headed to the American Inn to pick up the stolen and wrecked fuel truck. However, they quickly learned that Southwest Truck Parts had been burglarized and the service truck stolen. It was last seen headed west out of Pratt on U.S. Highway 54.

Later in the day, Meade County Sheriff’s officers were dispatched to a home invasion in their county at which they found a white male suspect driving the stolen service truck from Southwest Truck Parts.

When confronted, that white male suspect fled the scene in the service truck and was pursued into Oklahoma by Kansas Highway Patrol troopers and Meade County officers. Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Beaver County Sheriff’s officials joined in the pursuit and finally opened fire on the vehicle to render it inoperable near Forgan, Oklahoma.

During the pursuit the driver of the stolen vehicle attempted to run other vehicles off the road. After a several hours-long standoff, the uncooperative driver was taken into custody. That suspects name had not yet been released, but police said a large amount of stolen property has been recovered because of the incident.

The investigation is on-going.