Harlan man arrested on numerous charges following theft of vehicle


March 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Harlan man was being held in the Pottawattamie County Jail this (Wednesday) morning on numerous charges, following the theft of vehicle from Harlan late Tuesday night. Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker told KJAN News 32-year old Patrick Schmitz was arrested after he gave himself up to authorities at an Interstate 80 rest stop southwest of Neola.

Danker says Schmitz allegedly stole a 1992 Mercury Sable from Harlan and was being followed by another motorist into the Avoca area, where the vehicle disappeared. Authorities were soon informed the vehicle was possibly northbound on 360th Street and Tamarac Road. The informant lost sight of the vehicle again, but it was later observed by a Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Deputy near Minden.

When the deputy attempted to stop the car near the edge of town, Schmitz refused to stop and ran several stop signs. He continued northbound toward westbound I-80, where he was pursued by troopers with the Iowa State Patrol. The patrol deployed stop sticks at about the 23-mile marker, and two semi’s attempted to assist their efforts by boxing the car in. Danker says the car rammed both semi’s as he attempted to drive between them about three-miles north of the Underwood exit. The car finally pulled over at the rest area between Underwood and Neola, where Schmitz surrendered to the Patrol.

Schmitz was being held in the Pott. County Jail on $5,000 bond on charges that include 3rd offense OWI, 2nd degree theft, driving while barred, 2nd degree criminal mischief, eluding and speeding.