Police in Council Bluffs have apprehended a 35-year old female transient and her alleged male accomplice, who were said to be involved in the theft of a tow truck from a convenience store. Sgt. Darren Budd with the Council Bluffs P-D, said at about 9:06-p.m., Friday, uniformed officers of the Council Bluffs Police Department with the assistance of Adult Probation officers, located and arrested Jennifer Rae Malone, of Oakland (IA), without incident. Malone was taken into custody on a warrant for the following charges:
1.Criminal Mischief 2nd Degree
2.Theft 1st Degree
3.Conspiracy to Commit a Non-Forcible Felony
4.Control of a firearm by a felon
Bond on the warrant was set at $500,000.00. No additional charges have been filed.
Suspect Jennifer Rae Malone, 35, from Oakland.
The incident leading officials to suspect her in the case began at 9:48-a.m., Friday, when Todd Gochanour, the owner of Action Towing reported that his tow truck had just been stolen from the lot of Casey’s at 2301 S. 24th Street, in Council Bluffs. According to Gochanour, he had been called to Casey’s to unlock a car door. As he pulled into the lot, a female (later identified as Malone) waved him over to a white car. As Gochanour was getting out of his truck, a man standing near the white car stated, “I got it, we don’t need it unlocked”.
The woman that had waved Gochanour down became apologetic and asked him how much they owed him. When he told her that there was no charge, she offered to buy him something to drink. The two of them went into Casey’s, got a soda and approached the register for payment. The female then stated that she had forgot her money in the car and would be right back. The female exited Casey’s and got into the unlocked and running tow truck and sped off. The man who was with the female was seen following the tow truck on a black motorcycle. The white car in the parking lot actually belonged to one of the Casey’s employees and was not associated with the either of the suspects.
A customer inside Casey’s, who had witnessed the theft, followed the stolen tow truck into Omaha, where he witnessed the truck become involved in an accident near 13th and Dodge and then leave the scene. Minutes later, the tow truck was found abandoned in Council Bluffs, near 38th Street and Avenue C. Missing from inside the truck was an undetermined amount of cash and a .45 caliber Glock handgun that belonged to Gochanour.
At 10:25-a.m., another witness reported seeing a black motorcycle circling the parking lot at Ameristar Casino. As Officers approached the man, he fled on the motorcycle, leaving Ameristar’s property and traveling south on River Road, which dead ends under I-80. Once the man came to the dead end, he went off road and onto the bike trail system, traveling in a south easterly direction. A short time later, he was located on the motorcycle near an apartment complex in the 3200 block of Renner Drive. The man then abandoned the motorcycle and a short foot pursuit ensued, with him being apprehended in that same general area.
He refused to speak with the Police, or identify himself. Video from Casey’s General Store was used to positively identify him as the same man involved in the theft of the tow truck. The black motorcycle that the man had been riding was stolen out of Omaha. The man, who was booked into Pottawattamie County Corrections under the name John Doe, faces charges that include: Conspiracy, Theft 1st Degree, Theft 2nd Degree, Eluding, Possession of Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Authorities were in the process of positively identifying the man through fingerprint comparisons.