A third man accused in the burglary of a Lonedell area storage unit and then fleeing from police was charged.
A warrant was issued Friday, Jan. 4, for the arrest of Joshua C. Howard, 23, Robertsville, on charges of second-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree property damage and resisting arrest, all felonies. Prosecutors requested a $30,000 cash-only bond.
Howard is not in custody and anyone with information about his location is urged to contact Detective James Briggs at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at 636-583-2560.
The two other suspects, Kyle A. Floyd, 29, and Dakota L. Hopper, 26, are in custody at the Franklin County Jail. Floyd is being held on a $25,000 bond and Hopper is being held on a $35,000 bond. Both men also have been charged with second-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree property damage and resisting arrest.
According to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, deputies were dispatched to Triple H Storage, Lonedell, Wednesday, Jan. 2, at 4:10 a.m. after the company monitoring the storage business called the sheriff’s office stating there were three people inside the fenced-in area of the business.
A deputy arrived at the scene at 4:17 a.m. and blocked the entry gate as three men were getting into a 2011 Silver GMC Sierra truck.
The truck, which was reported stolen from Washington County Dec. 26, was driven through the gate, ramming the deputy’s patrol car and was driven out of the area. The deputy was not injured.
The deputy pursued the stolen truck east on Highway 30 to South Hendricks Road. The suspects, still in the vehicle, fled to the dead end of South Hendricks Road, lost control and struck a tree, but continued driving into a field and ultimately into a farm pond, authorities said.
The pond was too deep for the truck to drive through and it became submerged in the water. The deputy saw two males swim from the pond.
Authorities said the driver, Hopper, was arrested first, but Floyd escaped by fleeing into a wooded area in a different direction from which the driver ran. During the search for the second suspect, wet clothing was located in a field, indicating that the third suspect, Howard, also escaped the area.
Following the crash, deputies established a perimeter and conducted a door-to-door search. At 7:46 a.m., approximately 1 mile away from the scene, a second deputy saw Floyd getting into a car on Highway 30 near Highway HH.
Authorities believe Howard left the scene on foot toward Highway 30 in an attempt to call for a ride.