WATERLOO — A Missouri man police characterized as a "well-known criminal" is recovering in a hospital bed after he led Waterloo officers on a short chase that ended with a horrific crash.
At about 6:30 p.m. Sunday a man was trying to break into the change maker and vending machines at the Sure Shine Auto Wash, 702 N. Market St., according to police. The owner of the business was watching on surveillance cameras from his home and called the Waterloo Police Department, according to Chief Jim Trantham.
"An officer arrived two minutes later and confronted the suspect," Transom said. "He tried to escape in a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta that was parked half way in one of the bays. An officer tried to block him in but he got away after trying to ram the police car."
Trantham said the suspect fled southbound on Market at speeds up to 80 miles an hour, driving without his lights on as he swerved in an out of traffic.
"We slowed down and let him go because it was just too dangerous," Trantham said. "Unfortunately, he didn't slow down and when the road curved, he went straight."
The suspect's vehicle, according to Monroe County Sheriff's Department accident investigators, traveled about 300 feet after it left the road, flipping multiple times both sideways and end over end. A man was ejected from the vehicle and landed 27 feet from where the car, which turned out to be an Enterprise rental car borrowed in the suspect's father's name, came to a rest.
David W. Albrecht, 53, of Wentzville, was taken into custody after the accident.
"I'm so very thankful, especially at this time of year, that no one besides the suspect was hurt," Trantham said. "Driving as recklessly as he was, multiple people could have been killed."
Albrecht was conscious at the scene, although he was incoherent. He was transported by helicopter to St. Louis University hospital where he remains in stable condition but unable to speak.
According to Trantham, Albrecht has a 32-page rap sheet and he's made a career out of stealing from vending machines. He had warrants out for his arrest in St. Louis and St. Charles counties at the time he was arrested Sunday.
Trantham said he plans to ask the Monroe County state's attorney for charges both in relation to the attempted burglary and the crash after Albrecht recovers to the point he can be interviewed by investigators.
Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at email@example.com or call 239-2626.