Authorities allege a Villa Ridge man stole a car and fled from police before he was arrested Monday. 

On Sunday, March 24, at 11:30 p.m. a deputy patrolling in the Gray Summit area observed a dark colored Volkswagen car without license plates on West Osage Street near a Missouri Department of Transportation shed, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

The deputy attempted to stop the car but the driver fled eastbound in the vehicle on Interstate 44.

On Monday, March 25, a car matching the description of the Volkswagen was reported stolen from Performance Motor Sports in Pacific. Deputies were contacted later in the day by Central Midland Railway stating a dark-colored Volkswagen was parked near the railroad tracks in a wooded area off Highway M.

Deputies responded to the area and confirmed it was the stolen vehicle. An investigation led deputies to a nearby home where they located Mark E. Whitaker, 53, Villa Ridge, authorities said.  

Whitaker confessed to stealing the car and fleeing from the deputy the previous day. A warrant was issued for his arrest for stealing a motor vehicle and resisting arrest.

Bond was set at $20,000.