Public Safety

Newhall man accused of borrowing car, refusing to return it, fleeing police

IOWA CITY — A Newhall man was arrested on a first-degree theft charge Thursday, accused of borrowing a red 2014 Chrysler Town and Country and refusing to return it.

According to the criminal complaint, the minivan’s owner gave Randall A. Jones, 38, permission to borrow the vehicle for an hour Jan. 19.

The car’s owner made “multiple attempts” that day to set up a time for Jones to drop off the vehicle, but Jones refused.

The next day, officers spotted Jones driving the vehicles in North Liberty. When they attempted to stop the vehicle, Jones led officers on a chase that reached speeds of more than 50 miles per hour in 25 mph speed zones, with him ignoring traffic control devices, the criminal complaint states.

Officers eventually lost sight of the vehicle.

Four days later, police found the vehicle abandoned and out of gas near the University of Iowa Research Park in Coralville. Officers found Jones inside one of the UI buildings, with the vehicle’s keys in his possession, the complaint states.

Once booked into the Johnson County Jail, Jones was served with arrest warrants Friday on charges of assault, impersonating a public official, obstruction of emergency communications, eluding and other offenses that stem from a offenses between June and September 2016.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

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