Police have found a Dexter man accused of stealing a Malden police cruiser.
Corporal Clark Parrott with the Missouri State Highway Patrol says police have found 39-year-old John Christopher Jenkins.
Malden Police Chief Jarrett Bullock says Jenkins is charged with tampering, resisting arrest, and possession of drugs (meth).
His bond was set at $250,000 cash.
Police were looking for Jenkins with helicopters, dogs and law enforcement from numerous agencies. They found the stolen police car in a field and then Jenkins in a home not far away. Sheriff Carl Hefner said Jenkins was not wearing his handcuffs when they found him.
Officers say Jenkins grew up deer hunting in the area and was familiar with it.
Police worked to establish a perimeter north of Malden in rural Stoddard County. Once the perimeter was established, they did a grid search within that perimeter.
“It was just pandemonium,” said Larry Adams, a neighbor who witnessed the search. “Vehicles and they had the dogs out here and everything. Pretty eventful.”
“When this call came in today I was just down-hearted because it happened and you know everyone said what happens, happens, but you don’t want it to happen to you and don’t want it to happen to your department,” Bullock said. “The guys that worked this, that found him in the house today was a good job. They did a good job. They did everything right. Who knew he was part acrobat.”
According to the probable cause statement, officers arrested Jenkins at 602 West Laclede in Malden Wednesday morning as a suspect in multiple crimes in Stoddard County.
Police searched Jenkins and found he had a pouch with a bottle with meth residue, according to the probable cause statement.
Jenkins was double locked in handcuffs, placed in the rear back seat of the police car. The case was running because of the high temperatures. The arresting officer went back to the house to retrieve the contraband and when he returned, the car and Jenkins were gone.
Police found a Glock pistol in a Ford Ranger parked at the house that had been stolen from Stoddard County.
Stoddard County Sheriff Carl Hefner said the combined efforts of multi-jurisdictions helped find Jenkins.
“I’ve been doing this job a long time and this is one of the greatest combined efforts of law enforcement and multi-jurisdictions working together and that’s what we got to see,” he said.
Malden Superintendent Ken Cook says the high school and elementary were on lockdown.
Assisting in the search were Stoddard, Butler, Dunklin and New Madrid County Sheriff’s Offices along with the Highway Patrol.