Jaron W. Richards, 19, of New London, Mo., was arrested Sunday, June 18, after the Missouri State Highway Patrol had been pursuing him for more than 24 hours.

Jaron W. Richards, 19, of New London, was arrested Sunday, June 18, after the Missouri State Highway Patrol had been pursuing him for more than 24 hours.

The State Patrol in Macon provided the following details about his pursuit and arrest, crediting area law enforcement for using Twitter and Facebook to assist in locating Richards.

At approximately 12:58 p.m. Saturday, June 17, a state trooper responded to a report of suspicious activity near the Philadelphia, Mo., area. A member of the public had contacted the trooper in reference to three people who appeared to be lost and were acting strangely. The caller provided a description of the vehicle they were driving.

While driving to the area, the trooper met the vehicle on state Highway 168 east of Philadelphia. When the trooper attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver fled, resulting in a vehicle pursuit. The occupants later abandoned the vehicle in the Woodland, Mo., area, southwest of Palmyra, Mo., and fled on foot.

A search of the area in an attempt to locate them was not successful. 

During the investigation, troopers identified one suspect as Richards, who had felony warrants for his arrest from Marion and Ralls counties for resisting arrest and a probation warrant for resisting arrest.

On Sunday, June 18, Richards was observed two times by members of the public, but he was not apprehended. 

In an attempt to successfully locate him and protect the public and property in the area, the State Patrol sent two Twitter messages describing Richards and where he was last seen. The media outlets in the immediate area were contacted directly and provided the information. In addition, the Marion County Sheriff’s Department updated their Facebook page with the same message. 

Also on June 18 Richards contacted an area resident who was working in his garage. The resident recognized Richards based on the information he had heard from a media news alert. The resident drew Richards into a conversation while another person contacted the Marion County Sheriff’s Department for assistance. At approximately 4:09 p.m. Richards was contacted at the residence and placed under arrest.        

The State Patrol was assisted by the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, the Ralls County Sheriff’s Department and the Palmyra Police Department.

Capt. James E. Wilt, commanding officer of Troop B Macon, is thankful for the assistance of both the media and the public in locating Richards. “When law enforcement agencies work together with the public and the media, criminals stand a much better chance of being apprehended,” he said.

Wilt encourages the public to contact the Missouri State Highway Patrol anytime they need assistance or see something that seems out of place. The non-emergency line is 660-385-2132. The emergency number from a cellular telephone is *55. The public may also follow Troop B on Twitter @MSHPTrooperB.