Friday morning, January 13, 2017 at about 2:46 a.m., officers were dispatched to 131 Fox Fire Lane in Joplin for a vehicle theft that had just occurred. The caller reported a man sitting inside of his vehicle, which was parked inside of the garage. The caller went back into the house and when he returned both the male and his vehicle were gone.
At 4:30 a.m. the stolen 2003 Acura MDX was located by officers at the La Quinta Hotel, 3320 South Range Line Road. The vehicle was parked between other vehicles, with a male matching the description given by the victim, sleeping inside of the stolen vehicle. When officers attempted to contact the suspect, he started the car and attempted to flee striking an officer with the vehicle. The suspect then crashed the stolen vehicle into the side of the hotel causing damage to the building.
The suspect, 42, of Joplin was arrested and is currently being held in the Joplin City Jail pending charges of Burglary in the 1st Degree out of Jasper County and charges of Tampering in the 1st Degree, Assault 2nd on a law enforcement officer, Resisting Arrest, Property Damage 1st degree, Driving while Intoxicated, Driving while Revoked, and Careless Driving out of Newton County.
The officer was not injured during the event.