On Tuesday morning around 8:30 a.m., a deputy observed a male near Highway 127 and Route AA walk away from a vehicle. A computer check revealed that the vehicle was reported stolen from the Kingsville area in Johnson County.

When the deputy attempted to contact the man at a neighbor's residence, he fled across a field and into a wooded area. The neighboring resident stated that the male said he ran out of gas and asked to borrow some fuel.

Additional Pettis County deputies and troopers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol responded and cordoned off a search area, and air support from a MSHP helicopter was requested.

After a Nixle alert was sent out, several calls were received from area residents with information that led to him being spotted in the cordoned area.

The suspect continued to flee through the rural area, but was later located hiding in a creek bank and apprehended around 11:45 a.m. near Route AA, about one mile west of the stolen vehicle's location.

The suspect was identified as 25-year-old Evan C. Bankovich of Sedalia. He was taken to the Pettis County Jail and charged with 1st degree tampering, receiving stolen property and resisting arrest.

Subsequent investigation has linked Bankovich and the stolen vehicle to at least three burglaries in the Johnson County, so charges will more than likely will be filed there as well, a press release said.

Bankovich is also currently on parole for previous felony convictions, it was noted.


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