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Car thief drives himself to jail

Local man arrested following chase

November 11, 2012
By DAVID ALEXANDER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

A high-speed police chase Saturday morning ended with the suspect driving a stolen SUV to the Marshall County Jail.

"In my entire career this is a first. I have not ever seen anyone drive to the jail," said Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper. "I can only speculate that he knew he was going to be arrested and decided to save us some time."

Subsequent to the chase, police charged Kirk Banzhaf, 47, of Marshalltown with first-degree theft, a Class C felony, third-degree burglary, eluding, both Class D felonies, and nine traffic violations ranging from speeding, failure to stop at a stop sign and unsafe passing.

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An employee at Clemons Chevrolet, 2909 S. Center St., spotted Banzhaf making off with the 2012 Chevy Traverse just before 7:30 a.m., Tupper said.

One element of eluding is that the suspect exceeds the speed limit by more than 25 mph, meaning that Banzhaf would have had to been driving at least 90 mph during the chase.

Tupper said none of the vehicles involved in the chase were damaged and no one was injured.

Prices for the 2012 Chevy Traverse start at $30,000, according to Kelley Blue Book's website.

A Class C felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.



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