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A traffic crash led police to discover the theft of Farmington city truck and a K-9 unit was utilized to apprehend the suspect early Tuesday morning.

About 2 a.m. Tuesday, a Farmington officer received a phone call from a deputy who was responding to a one-vehicle crash on northbound U.S. 67 near the Fairgrounds exit in Park Hills. The reason the deputy contacted the Farmington officer was that vehicle was a 2004 white Ford F250 that had been stolen from the city of Farmington at the west treatment plant.

Farmington Police Chief Rick Baker said a witness told an officer that he had just missed the accident and the truck was still smoking. As he got closer to the vehicle, a male with a dark jacket and hat exited the driver’s seat and started to run across the southbound lanes toward Hefner Furniture. The male was later identified as Wesley James Davis, 34, of Arcadia.

At that time, the officer requested the assistance of the K-9 unit.

K-9 Officer Zip and his handler Cpl. Brad Williams responded to the accident location. Officer Zip quickly picked up the scent and began tracking the suspect in the direction of Hefner Furniture.

“The trail led to the fairgrounds and stopped at a shed on the fairgrounds property. At that time, the officer saw the suspect hiding inside a utility vehicle,” said Baker.

Baker said the officer gave several verbal commands for Davis to exit the vehicle with his hands in the air, but the suspect refused to comply.

“At that time, the K-9 was deployed and apprehended the suspect,” said Baker. “During the apprehension, the dog was assaulted by being kicked and hit by the suspect.”

Baker said the dog is fine and did not sustain any serious injuries that required treatment.

“The suspect was handcuffed and taken to Parkland hospital for treatment of bites,” said Baker, “and then transported to the St. Francois County Jail where he is being held pending the filing of formal charges.”

Baker said officers went to the west treatment plant and observed that the front gate had been damaged and it appeared that a vehicle had driven through the fencing. On the back side of the building, officers discovered a broken window in a door.

“We believe this to be the point of entry,” said Baker.

The building was cleared, however, Baker said that the building appeared to have been rummaged through. There were open drawers and materials scattered through the small building.

Baker said that there was blood found at the scene, which was collected as evidence. There was also blood in the truck which was also collected as evidence.

Baker said that the Missouri State Highway Patrol worked the accident itself while Park Hills Police Department will handle the trespassing and apprehension reports and Farmington Police Department will report the burglary at the treatment facility.

“Buckley towed vehicle, at which time officers observed a tan bag under the truck that contained what appeared to be methamphetamine, heroin, and prescription drugs,” said Baker.

These substances have been sent to the lab for testing.

Davis has been charged with burglary in the second degree, tampering with a motor vehicle, property damage in the first degree, resisting arrest, and assault on a police animal. 

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Matt McFarland is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616, or at mmcfarland@dailyjournalonline.com.

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