Stolen gas in Medicine Lodge led to a high speed chase through Barber, Pratt and Kingman counties involving officers from all three counties as well as the Kansas Highway Patrol.
A call that started with officers responding to $67 worth of stolen gas in Medicine Lodge ended in another county hours later.
Barber County Sheriff’s Department undersheriff Dusty Brewer said the call for stolen gas came around 9 a.m. from Casey’s General Store. Robert Lee Ehrlich, 35, was arrested around 1 p.m. when he emerged from a field where officers from Barber, Pratt and Kingman counties as well the Kansas Highway Patrol last spotted a truck they say he was driving.
Brewer said Ehrlich faces multiple charges and has four warrants from different counties.
Officers spotted Ehrlich a half-mile away from the Casey’s at the Black Diamond Express convenience store, Brewer said, in the red Chevrolet Silverado registered to a person in Great Bend. Brewer did not know if the truck was stolen.
Ehrlich took off.
The chase went through Pratt and Kingman counties, and more law enforcement joined the chase along the way.
“It was just a wild case,” Brewer said, adding Ehrlich drove at speeds over 100 mph. “And there wasn’t any differentiating in the direction of travel.”
For safety, officers were nearly 30 seconds behind the Silverado because of the dust trail when Ehrlich traveled north on SW 100th Avenue, Brewer said. Ehrlich lost control at a T-intersection along the dirt road and SW 20th Street and hit an embankment northeast of the intersection.
Ehrlich fled on foot into the field.
Brewer said the front passenger tire on the truck was flat, perhaps because of a spike strip.
The wreck occurred just after 10 a.m.
“Please call 911 if you see a white male possibly wearing blue shorts and a black shirt ... Please do not approach the individual and keep all your doors and vehicles locked,” the Kingman County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook.
Kingman County Sheriff Randy Hill said officers searched the nearby fields for several hours. Then he called off the search but kept officers in the area.
Eventually, Hill said, Ehrlich appeared on the dirt road, where officers arrested him without further incident and took him to the Barber County Jail.