SIDNEY — A vehicle loaded with stolen firearms and electronics tried to elude police from Cridersville before crashing in Sidney early Wednesday morning. A passenger is in custody, while authorities still search for the driver.
According to Cridersville Police Chief John D. Drake, he observed a suspicious vehicle while on patrol at 4 a.m. Wednesday. The vehicle had been on Elizabeth Street in the Auglaize County village and Drake turned about to see where the vehicle was going.
Once the driver saw the police vehicle, he took off and ran several stop signs as he was driving through Cridersville.
Drake tried to make a traffic stop on the vehicle, which failed to stop. The driver exited the village on southbound Interstate 75. The pursuit continued to exit 93 in Sidney. The driver exited the interstate and entered the city of Sidney.
The chase continued in Sidney for several blocks. The driver made a turn onto Court Street and was going the wrong way. At the intersection of Court Street and Royan Avenue, the vehicle hit the center guardrail and went down an embankment and struck a tree. The driver fled on foot and was not located.
Michael Fent, of New Haven, Indiana, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was taken into custody and arrested. He was transported to Wilson Health to be treated before being taken to the Auglaize County Jail.
Fent has been charged with receiving stolen property and tampering with evidence. He is currently being held in the Auglaize County Jail on a $25,000 bond.
A large amount of stolen items were recovered from the vehicle, including firearms and electronics, said Drake.
Drake said officials are still trying to identify the driver.
Assisting the Cridersville Police Department were the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Highway Patrol Wapakoneta Post, Wapakoneta Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Highway Patrol Piqua Post and the Sidney Police Department.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822; follow her on Twitter @MelSpeicherSDN. Follow the SDN on Facebook, www.facebook.com/SidneyDailyNews.