COVINGTON — The suspect believed to be responsible for stealing two trucks and crashing one into a Covington home two weeks ago has been apprehended.
Oklahoma man Justin K. Wallace, 35, was charged with felony receiving stolen property and felony failure to comply/fleeing from a law enforcement officer last week. The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office in Watonga, Okla. recently took Wallace into custody. While he still faces warrants out of Miami County, the Miami County Sheriff’s Office advised on Tuesday that Wallace also faces numerous felony charges in Oklahoma so it will likely be some time before he is extradited back to Miami County to face charges.
The charges stem from the pursuit on Oct. 21 on the 500 block of South Street in Piqua when there was a report of a stolen truck. According to the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect passed a deputy at the intersection of Peterson and Farrington roads and a pursuit then ensued on Farrington Road.
The pursuit came to an end at the intersection of Troy Pike (State Route 41) and High Street (State Route 48) in Covington, where the vehicle crashed into a house. The vehicle broke through the wall of the house in the crash. The single occupant of the home was not injured.
The suspect reportedly fled on foot. The Miami County Sheriff’s Office called in a K-9 unit in an attempt to locate the suspect.
A call came in later Friday morning of another theft in progress in which a truck on Covington-Gettysburg Road was reported stolen. Deputies believed this vehicle — a 2007 green Ford F150 — possibly was taken by the same suspect.
The Miami County Sheriff’s Office believes the suspect made it into southern Ohio by Friday afternoon. The license plates from the stolen green Ford truck were found north of Cincinnati, and different license plates were apparently stolen from another vehicle.
The second stolen truck was later recovered in Elsmere, Ky.
Wallace is from Oklahoma and is believed to be back in that area as of Tuesday evening. Oklahoma authorities have been alerted to the warrant.
Wallace was convicted this past September in Miami County Municipal Court for receiving stolen property from an incident in West Milton in which he was found to be in possession of a stolen vehicle from Indianapolis. Wallace served a 30-day sentence for that conviction and was released on Oct. 17. It is believed that Wallace may have been involved in other property crimes in the Piqua area since his release from jail.
Anyone having any information on these cases is asked to call Dep. Shaun Shell at (937) 440-6085, Ext. 7148. Anonymous tips can be left on the sheriff’s office website at www.miamicountysheriff.org.
Reach Sam Wildow at [email protected] or (937) 451-3336