(Update) Search called-off for SUV thieves


February 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Stolen, burned-out Hyundai Sante Fe (photo courtesy IA State Patrol)

Authorities in southwest Iowa have reportedly called-off their search for two people who stole an SUV from Missouri and led law enforcement on a chase throughout several southwest Iowa counties. The chase ended when the 2002 Hyundai Sante Fe, which was stolen from a residence this (Thursday) morning, in Burlington Junction, MO., crashed into a levee south of Sidney, and burst into flames. The two male suspects fled on foot, and remain at large. During the chase, the Iowa State Patrol set-up a roadblock on Interstate 29 near Nebraska City, NE. The Patrol said that’s where a Fremont County sheriff’s deputy fired two shots at the vehicle’s tires to try to stop the suspects. The vehicle was being tracked by GPS, but the signal was lost at around 10-a.m. 

Officials said a short time later, a farmer in Fremont County saw the SUV drive through one of his fields. He engaged in his own pursuit, and watched as the vehicle crashed into a levee near a gravel road off of Highway 275, and catch fire. The Iowa State Patrol said two of its cruisers were disabled during the chase: one blew an engine, while the other had cooling issues associated with the radiator.