BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
LEE COUNTY – A high speed chase Thursday afternoon has resulted in the arrest of a Fort Madison man on multiple charges stemming from a vehicle theft in Fort Madison.
Simarius Jefferson, 22 of Fort Madison was arrested and taken into custody following a trip to Fort Madison Community Hospital after the silver Ford he allegedly stole had tires damaged from stop sticks and he collided with another vehicle.
Local police and a sheriff’s deputy were alerted to the stolen vehicle shortly after it was reported stolen from Casey’s in the 1200 block of Avenue H in Fort Madison.
A civilian spotted the vehicle heading north out of Fort Madison on Hwy. 61 and deputies were soon chasing the vehicle through Lee County toward Des Moines County, where law enforcement there deployed stop sticks.
Lee County Sheriff Stacy Weber said he caught up with deputy Brent Gibbs and joined in the chase near Wever.
“I was getting ready to walk out when a vehicle was reported stolen out of Fort Madison from a gas station,” Weber said. “Apparently the owner ran inside and a police officer or deputy was close by.”
“Deputy Gibbs spotted the vehicle with the help of a civilian report and was able to get in behind him.”
Weber said the chase originally wasn’t at a high rate of speed, but then once out on the bypass speeds got up to 90 mph. He said that’s when he contacted the Des Moines County Sheriff ‘s Department to try and stop the vehicle before it got into Burlington in congested traffic.
“We coordinated with Des Moines County to get them out with stop sticks and they put them out in three places. The first ones missed, but the second set worked and got his tires and that’s when Des Moines County took over pursuit,” Weber said.
Just when Lee County backed off the chase, the driver struck the back end of another vehicle just before the Burlington city limits causing disabling damage to both vehicles. The driver jumped out of the vehicle, but Gibbs, Weber and other pursuing officers, quickly took him into custody.
The other motorist was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Jefferson was taken to FMCH for treatment and then released.
“I was kinda hoping to avoid that. We were hoping the stopsticks would get it under control before anyone got hurt.” Weber said.
Burlington and West Burlington police also responded to the incident.