5/6/24 Des Moines, IA – Officers Were Meeting With Business Owners – Suspect Steals Patrol Car – Pursuit – Abandoned – Located – Suspect Taken Into Custody

May 6, 2024


A Newton man is in custody after allegedly driving off in a patrol car, Des Moines police said in a Facebook post. 

“When we caution you that your car can be stolen in the blink of an eye, we mean it,” the post reads in part. “. . .It happened to us and it happened fast.

The suspect, a 21-year-old man, allegedly stole the car at around 3:55 p.m., while officers were meeting with local business owners on University Avenue. The Des Moines Police Department stated one of the officers had left the keys in the car. 

A deputy with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office saw the car and began pursuing the vehicle. 

Police say the suspect abandoned the police car on Shawnee Avenue just after 4 p.m.

Less than ten minutes later, Des Moines police officers located the man in an alley off of 5th Avenue. 

The suspect was taken into custody and is being held at Polk County Jail as of Sunday evening. He faces the following charges: 

  • Operating A Motor Vehicle Without Owner’s Consent
  • Operating While Intoxicated — 1st Offense
  • Felony Eluding

“The circumstances that allowed this incident to occur are being internally reviewed and, upon completion of the review, the appropriate corrective action will be taken,” police said on Facebook.