Missouri Teen Leads Police on Stolen Truck Chase to Get Help for Drug Addiction

By Paul Gaita 02/03/17

Police were led to the teen after residents reported a string of early morning vehicle break-ins.

Handcuffed hands

An 18-year-old Missouri resident stole a city-owned pickup truck and led police on a half-hour pursuit through St. Charles County in an attempt to get help for his addiction to drugs.

Prosecutors charged Cole M. McCall with stealing a motor vehicle, property damage and tampering with a motor vehicle on Wednesday, January 25. Two alleged accomplices, Shyler Sandbothe, 21, and Matthew Hollman, 23, were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and second-degree burglary, respectively. Bail was set for McCall and Hollman at $20,000.

According to a probable cause statement, McCall was quoted as saying that "he wanted to be arrested so he could go to jail and get help for his drug addiction."

Police were led to him after a string of early morning vehicle break-ins were reported in the residential development of New Town, which led to the arrest of Hollman and Sandbothe. Both were found with stolen merchandise in their possession, and when questioned by police, they reportedly named McCall as their accomplice.  

Later that morning, a St. Charles city worker reported that his city-owned pickup had been stolen from the 3500 block of New Town Lake Drive. The city's Street Division then informed police that all of its vehicles are equipped with a GPS system, which allowed them to locate the missing pickup in the city of Portage Des Sioux. Patrol cars were dispatched to the area, and police located the stolen vehicle a short while later. 

McCall led police on a highway pursuit, then back into St. Charles, until spike strips were laid in his path. The strips tore the tires off the right side of the car but did not halt its progress for several more miles, until it finally came to a stop. After his arrest, McCall admitted that he had taken the pickup after seeing the city worker leave the vehicle at New Town Lake Drive.

The St. Charles incident is not the first time an individual has resorted to criminal measures to get help for drug use. In August 2016, a 56-year-old man told a bank teller in New Jersey that he was planning to rob her branch, only to sit down and wait for police to arrest him. He later told authorities that he was addicted to drugs and wanted to go to jail as a means of receiving treatment for his issues.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.