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Suspected car thief arrested after pursuit

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NORFOLK  — A multi-agency effort led to the apprehension of a suspect in an auto theft investigation Thursday afternoon in Wayne County. The operation culminated in an arrest following a pursuit in which the suspect’s vehicle made contact with multiple law enforcement vehicles.

Several law enforcement agencies in northeast Nebraska were alerted to be on the lookout for a stolen 2017 Dodge Ram pickup after it had been spotted in the area multiple times Thursday morning.

At approximately 1:45 p.m., law enforcement received a report that the truck was on Highway 15 south of Wayne. Multiple agencies pursued the vehicle, which made contact with units from both the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and the Wayne Police Department during the pursuit. The suspect was able to flee south of Wayne.

A short time later, at approximately 2:10 p.m., a State Trooper located the stolen truck on 575th Ave, about five miles south of Wayne. The trooper notified the NSP Aviation Support Division, which tracked the vehicle from the air as it entered a minimum maintenance road. The pickup then became stuck near 851st Road and 575th Ave.

The driver fled on foot and was located a short distance from the vehicle by an NSP K9. Robert Wagle, 35, of Summerville, South Carolina, was arrested for felony flight to avoid arrest, willful reckless driving, assault, and possession of a stolen vehicle. Additional charges are pending. Wagle was lodged in Antelope County Jail.

This investigation involved the sheriff’s offices of Antelope, Madison, Stanton, and Wayne counties, the police departments from Neligh, Norfolk, and Wayne, as well as the Nebraska State Patrol. The investigation is ongoing.