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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Sheriff investigating vehicle theft report

  • The Ralls County Sheriff’s Department is still investigating the report of a stolen van from a residence on Highway HH Tuesday night.
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  • The Ralls County Sheriff’s Department is still investigating the report of a stolen van from a residence on Highway HH Tuesday night.
    Ralls County Sheriff Gerry Dinwiddie said late Wednesday afternoon that no one is in custody and no charges have been filed in regard to the incident.
    Van owner Michael Knott says the suspect, whom he had loaned his vehicle to on numerous occasions previously, entered his Highway HH home in Ralls County around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday.
    “I was going to bed when this gentleman came in and took the keys off the table,” said Knott.
    Before Knott could react, the suspect had started the van and was pulling out of his drive.
    “I just thought he was going to town,” he said.
    Later, Knott attempted to contact the suspect.
    “I started texting him to bring the van back,” said Knott.
    Not only did the suspect refuse to comply, he allegedly began to threaten “me, my girlfriend, my neighbors, anyone who would get in his way he said he would kill them,” said Knott. “That’s when I called the cops.”
    Knott was at the home of a neighbor when he reports seeing his van speed past with a Ralls County deputy in pursuit. Dinwiddie, who was in court much of Wednesday, confirmed a deputy did pursue the suspect, but he stopped short of calling it a high-speed pursuit.
    The chase ended when the suspect drove into a pasture.
    “He hit some trees and it looks like he rolled it. It’s totaled,” said Knott.
    After crashing the van the suspect reportedly disappeared on foot into a wooded area.
    With the suspect who allegedly threatened his life still on the loose, Knott admits it was not a restful night.
    “I didn’t get much sleep. I left all the lights on. I maybe got two hours of sleep,” he said.
    When the sun came up Wednesday, Knott faced another challenge – getting to work.
    “That was my only vehicle and he (suspect) knew that, too,” he said.
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