TRAVERSE CITY — A three-county search for a stolen vehicle ended in a short police chase in East Bay Township.
Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Capt. Randy Fewless said the suspect, 28, of Mancelona, was wearing a jacket emblazoned with the name of the owner of a Jeep Cherokee reported stolen in Charlevoix County. Authorities issued a “be on the lookout” for the vehicle and within minutes received a report it was driving south on U.S. 31 after its driver failed to pay for gas in Elk Rapids.
“A deputy spotted it near (U.S.) 31 North near 3 Mile Road,” Fewless said.
Sheriff’s deputies and Traverse City police officers chased the vehicle after it turned on Avenue E. Fewless said the suspect fled on foot after driving the vehicle through a driveway and into a yard near Indian Trail Road.
Deputies set up a perimeter and set K-9 police dogs to start tracking the suspect. Fewless said deputies spotted the man walking near the intersection of 3 Mile Road and Pine Grove Avenue after he abruptly turned away from search lights. He said the man refused to talk or cooperate with deputies before being arrested and transported to Munson Medical Center for a blood-alcohol test.
Fewless said Charlevoix police reports say the suspect was intoxicated at the victim’s house and asked to use the Jeep Cherokee. The allegedly intoxicated man’s request was denied, he said.
The suspect is lodged in Grand Traverse County jail on preliminary charges of fleeing and eluding, resisting arrest, possession of a stolen vehicle, operating while intoxicated second offense and driving while license suspended.