Paola Police Department

PAOLA — A 28-year-old Kansas City, Mo., man reportedly stole a vehicle in Paola and fled from law enforcement officers during a high-speed pursuit Thursday, May 30.

The incident began early Thursday afternoon when the Paola Police Department received a report of a stolen vehicle from the 700 block of Redbud Drive. The victim had left the vehicle running and unattended, and it was taken within minutes, according to a news release from the Paola Police Department.

A cell phone belonging to the victim was in the vehicle, and police were able to obtain its GPS location. The vehicle was initially located near Osawatomie, and as police units from the Osawatomie and Paola police departments attempted to stop the vehicle, the suspect fled and a pursuit began northbound on U.S. Highway 169 at 12:35 p.m. Thursday, according to the release.

The pursuit reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, after which Paola and Osawatomie police units discontinued the pursuit, according to the release.

Police agencies in Johnson County were then notified of the stolen vehicle traveling north on Highway 169. Units from the Kansas Highway Patrol subsequently engaged the stolen vehicle as it traveled north, and they were able to use stop sticks to stop the vehicle at 12:55 p.m. near Lone Elm Road and 159th Street in Olathe, according to the release.

The suspect was taken into custody by KHP and identified as Austin Brett Mebane, 28, of Kansas City, Mo.

Paola police officials said they plan to forward reports to the Miami County Attorney’s Office requesting charges of felony theft, fleeing or attempt to elude, and reckless driving. The Kansas Highway Patrol also has requested charges against Mebane as a result of the chase, according to the release.

“The Paola Police Department wants to remind its citizens that leaving your vehicle running and unattended is a violation of the Kansas Standard Traffic statutes,” Capt. Kevin Colwell said in the release. “More importantly, these types of incidents can and will happen if a vehicle is left running and unattended. This was the second similar incident in Paola within the last month.”

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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