Suspect In Custody In Mississippi Co., MO After High Speed Chase With Stolen Patrol Car - Top news: TITLE

BOONE COUNTY, Mo. - Authorities have arrested the suspect who led a Boone County Sheriff's deputy on a high speed chase Saturday afternoon.

Clifford Helmka, 27, was taken into custody in Audrain County after a second high speed chase and is currently being held at the Callaway County Jail.

The first pursuit was called out in Boone County Saturday afternoon around 1 p.m.

Sgt. Perkins with the Boone County Sheriff's Department said a woman called 911 Saturday afternoon about a suspicious man dressed in all black knocking on her door near Liddell Lane and Route Z.  When she confronted the man, he took off in his car. She described the suspect vehicle to deputies.

Deputies found the car and said Helmka led them on a chase at speeds reaching 100 miles per hour for about five miles along Route Z.

Authorities said Helmka almost hit a deputy head on before crashing the car on Carter School Road. He then ran way on foot.

The Columbia Police K9 Unit was called in for assistance to search the wooded area, but the track was unsuccessful.

Authorities said the car was stolen from Fulton. They also found a toy gun inside.

"We don't know if that was something intended to be used as a prop for a burglary or not," Sgt. Perkins said.

After fleeing the scene in Boone County, authorities say Helmka stole another vehicle in Boone County. He then abandoned that car and stole another vehicle in Kingdom City at the Westland Travel Center.

Fulton authorities informed Callaway County deputies that the stolen Kingdom City car was spotted at the Wal-Mart after Helmka allegedly shoplifted from the store. 

Just before 4:30 p.m., the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Callaway County deputies tried to conduct a traffic stop on that car just south of Kingdom City. They were then led on a high speed chase.

Lt. Clay Chism with the Callaway County Sheriff's Department said speeds reached 100 mph during the pursuit on Highway 54.

"The traffic count was low, Highway 54 was not congested and there was no precipitation, so taking those variables into consideration, the pursuit did continue," he said."

The chase ended in Audrain County when the suspect wrecked the car by hitting another car off Highway 54 near Mexico. Lt. Chism said the pursuit lasted approximately 16 minutes.

Helmka was arrested and taken to the Callaway County Jail.

He is facing charges of careless and imprudent driving, resisting arrest, first degree tampering and leaving the scene of an accident in Boone County.

Helmka is facing three felonies in Callaway County and could face even more charges out of Audrain County.

"Three stolen vehicles and two vehicle pursuits in the same day is certainly not an everyday occurrence in Callaway County," Lt. Chism said.

He was released from prison in April after serving a 7 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter.

He's being held in the Callaway County Jail on a $25,000 cash only bond.

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