Archive for Wednesday, February 18, 1998

TRUCK BURGLARY DISCOVERY STARTS SERIES OF CRIMES

February 18, 1998

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A suspect in an auto burglary was chased by his alleged victims and captured by police.

Police arrested a 21-year-old Lawrence man after they said he tried to break into a pickup, steal a piece of beef jerky by shoving it down his pants and flee from the police station.

James D. Magelssen was arrested on charges of vehicle burglary, misdemeanor theft, vehicle theft, aggravated assault, obstruction of the legal process, criminal damage to property and escape from custody. He remained in the Douglas County Jail on $5,000 bond Tuesday night.

Magelssen was allegedly seen breaking into a 1995 Ford pickup in the 3600 block of West 24th at 9:15 p.m. Friday night. The truck's owner, a 34-year-old Lawrence man, interrupted the suspect, who ran north across a field and Clinton Parkway.

The man and two other people jumped into another car and followed, yelling at Magelssen. At one point, Magelssen turned toward their car and acted like he was going to pull a gun from his sweatshirt, police Sgt. Susan Hadl said.

Magelssen ran into the Hy-Vee Food and Drug Store, 3504 Clinton Pkwy., where police arrested him. Police recovered a package of beef jerky that Magelssen had apparently shoved down his pants while in the store.

Police say Magelssen also led them on a chase when he ran from the interview room at the Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th, later Friday night. He ran through the building's west doors and made it 2 1/2 blocks before police arrested him near D & D Tire, 1000 Vt.

Hadl said the aggravated assault charge stems from Magelssen pretending that he had a gun. Although no one was injured and no gun was found by police, the charge applies to threatening situations.

-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is koger@ljworld.com.

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