Olney man arrested in theft spree
An Olney man was charged with four felonies after leading police on a five-hour manhunt in a caper that began with the late-night theft of a boat, evolved into a chase through fields north of town with the suspect on a stolen ATV, and was solved partly by doorbell cam footage, Olney Police Detective Dustin Hudson said.
The suspect, 37-year-old David James Kee, “vanished into thin air” after outrunning seven police officers and a police dog on the vehicle he stole from a home near the Western Heights apartments, Det. Hudson said. He was arrested about a few hours later when he showed up at the home on North Avenue C and asked for the ATV that he had stashed in the back yard, Det. Hudson said. Police had spotted the vehicle and impounded it minutes before Mr. Kee showed up, Det. Hudson said.
Although he denied involvement in the chase, he was captured on the doorbell camera asking about the vehicle, he said. Mr. Kee now faces felony charges of evading arrest, unauthorized use of a vehicle, property damage for livestock fencing, and theft of property for the alleged theft of the boat from a home on Bloodworth Street.
The incident began at about 1:15 a.m. on Jan. 23 when a resident reported that someone in a white box van was attempting to steal a neighbor’s boat and trailer, Det. Hudson said.
“When [Officer] Richard [Fellows] got behind him and put on his lights, he takes off,” Det. Hudson said.
“At some point, that trailer becomes unhitched and he was dragging it by the chain ... he’s going down Gray [Street] and when he goes to turn on Avenue N there is so much inertia on that boat that it just pushes his van into the curb and into the side of the road.”
The suspect ran into the adjacent field and disappeared, leaving a dog behind in the van. Officers recognized Kee’s vehicle and went to the Western Heights apartments to search for him at the homes of family and an acquaintance.
“As we are returning to our vehicles, we hear an ATV and then he sees us and takes off in that field behind Western Heights,” said Det. Hudson, who followed the suspect into the fields in his police Tahoe.
“He can’t figure out how to get out of this field and he’s just driving in circles.”
Nevertheless, the suspect managed to evade officers, aided by darkness and heavy rain, until Det. Hudson called off the search at around 6 a.m. The chase took place in the fields bounded by Gray Street and Highland Drive, Haggar Road to the east, Hall Road, and North Avenue G.
As Det. Hudson was returning to work a few hours later, he spotted the ATV and asked the homeowner for the video from his doorbell cam. A few minutes later, police arrested Kee, who has denied any involvement in the incident, Det. Hudson said.
“Since then the community and their videos and people’s camera systems, I think I’ve got 10 or 12 videos of this guy throughout the night ringing people’s doorbells, unscrewing people’s lights in their carports,” he said. “I’ve got a trail from the 1100 block of Bloodworth down to where he steals the boat and then I’ve