Crime & Courts

Driver steals 3 cars while being chased by Kansas cops, but he couldn't avoid police dog

Timothy Medel
Timothy Medel Courtesy Photo

A Colorado man was arrested Monday morning with the help of a Kansas police dog after leading officers on a chase in three different stolen vehicles, officials said.

Timothy Leonard Lee Medel, 32, of Denver, was arrested in Thomas County about an hour and a half after fleeing from a traffic stop, the Thomas County Sheriff's Office said in a statement on Facebook.

Police were called just before 10 a.m. about a suspicion person removing a tag from a vehicle, the sheriff's office said. A deputy stopped the vehicle about 5 minutes later, but the driver sped off after waiting for the deputy to get out of his patrol cruiser.

The driver wrecked and abandoned the vehicle, which had been reported stolen, about 2 minutes into the police chase, the statement said.

A Colby police officer then chased the driver as he ran from the crash, but the man stole another vehicle in Colby. The man drove erratically, forcing other drivers to pull over to avoid collisions, the sheriff's office said. At one point, the man swerved at a deputy, forcing the deputy into a parking lot.

About 5 minutes into the police pursuit, the driver exited Colby city limits to the east and drove through fields, fences and on county roads, the statement said. The driver stole another vehicle at McCarty Dairy near Rexford.

The chase turned west and went through Gem about 25 minutes later, where the man drove through residential yards before getting back on county roads and driving through fields, the sheriff's office said.

The third stolen vehicle was found abandoned in the middle of fields near railroad tracks about 4 miles northeast of Colby about 15 minutes later, the statement said. Police set up a perimeter to find the driver.

Medel was arrested about an hour later with the help of a Kansas Highway Patrol K-9 unit, the sheriff's office said.

Medel is on parole, according to Colorado Department of Corrections records.

Schools and nursing homes in the area were locked down during the chase, the statement said.

The sheriff's office asked any witnesses or people whose property was damaged during the chase to email referencing case number TH18-214.