COLUMBIA — A construction equipment salesman and his wife, a nurse, became a crime-fighting team Saturday morning, helping authorities capture a man that had eluded police for hours.
Police arrested Sreyvout Sing, 24, at the home of Gary and Ann Purdome of 2321 E. Highway 163, at approximately 6:40 a.m. Saturday. Several officers and two search dogs had spent much of the night searching for Sing through rain and heat before losing him in the brush-covered hills south of Columbia.
The search began shortly after midnight, when Sing's sister called police to report that her brother had stolen her white 2003 Chevy Tahoe, according to a release from the Columbia Police Department. Shortly thereafter, the release said, police found him driving the car near Providence and Old Plank roads.
Sing refused to pull over and a high-speed chase began, police said. The chase took them south on Missouri 163, past Rock Bridge State Park and through several yards — and fences — in the Pierpont area. After their car got stuck in the mud, officers heard a vehicle crash in the distance, police spokeswoman Jill Wieneke said.
A manhunt, spanning several miles, ensued. Wieneke said police called off the search around 4 a.m. after their dogs began to show signs of heat exhaustion.
At about 5:30 a.m., Gary Purdome said, just after he woke up and put on a pot of coffee, police came to his door and told him that his fence had been damaged during the car chase. Shortly afterward, Purdome went outside to survey the damage.
"I was getting ready to fix the fence, and this guy came walking down the street," Purdome said.
Purdome said that Sing looked disheveled and dirty and didn't have any shoes on.
"We see a lot of people jogging and riding bikes around here because of the park, but this guy didn't look like a jogger," he said.
Sing approached him and asked if he could use his phone. Purdome said he needed to go inside to get his cell phone, but he instead called 911. Meanwhile, his wife brought a cell phone to Sing. She said he called his mother.
Police arrived at the scene within minutes and arrested Sing on suspicion of several counts, including resisting arrest, property damage and driving without a license. He already had two outstanding warrants for misdemeanor harassment of a minor and violating parole. He is being held on a $90,000 bond.
Sing has previously pleaded guilty to multiple counts of felony burglary, stealing and property damage charges in half a dozen incidents dating back to 2003. In June of this year, he was also charged with misdemeanor third-degree assault.