A Benton County sheriff deputy arrested a 37-year-old man Thursday on car theft charges after chasing the man on foot — following his tracks through a snow-covered field until the suspect collapsed from exhaustion.
Deputy Chris Dale was dispatched to the 4900 block of Southwest West Hills Road at 1:12 p.m. Thursday for a 1994 Honda Accord that was partially blocking the street, according to Capt. Greg Ridler of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office. The caller gave the vehicle plate number, which came back stolen that morning from Salem, and provided a description of the man who parked the car and then walked into an old tree farm.
Dale located and began questioning a man on Southwest Gerold Street who matched the suspect’s description, according to Ridler. The man ran away and as Dale began pursuing him on foot, two bystanders asked if they could help, Ridler said. Dale instructed them to keep watching the man as Dale retrieved his patrol vehicle.
Dale drove to West Hills Road and 53rd Street where the bystanders said he disappeared into the trees.
He followed the man’s tracks in the snow, which wound through the old tree farm and was within sight of the suspect, yelling at him to stop, for about 10 minutes before the suspect slowed to a walk, then eventually collapsed in the snow.
Dale arrested Jacob Michael Elliott, 37, no fixed address, on two counts of car theft after finding a second stolen vehicle at the old tree farm. A 1997 Honda Accord, which was missing its wheels and other parts, had been stolen early that morning from Salem. Elliott was booked on additional charges of second-degree criminal trespassing, third-degree escape, interfering with a peace officer and resisting arrest.