Will be brought back to Franklin County this evening
The Washington man who was the focus of a near weeklong search effort after attempting to carjack a woman’s vehicle on Monday is now in custody, Washington Police Detective Sgt. Steve Sitzes said.
Chad Stone, 45, who is homeless, was taken into custody Thursday in Lebanon, Missouri. Located northeast of Springfield along Interstate 44 in Laclede County, Lebanon is more than 120 miles southwest of Washington.
“Our department learned Stone was staying at a hotel in Lebanon,” Sitzes wrote in a press release. That information was then forwarded to the Lebanon Police Department, who has since taken Stone into custody. Sitzes said officers with the Washington Police Department are en route to pick up Stone and bring him back to Franklin County this evening, where he has been charged with the Class A felony of vehicle hijacking with the risk of serious physical injury, use of deadly weapon, instrument or vulnerable person.
Sitzes said the department continues to investigate how Stone got to Lebanon.
“We know that he was staying in the room with another person,” Sitzes said. Officials did not release the name of the person with Stone.
“We also know that, when he went to his employer to pick up his paycheck on Tuesday, that he was seen getting into a vehicle with someone,” Sitzes said.
The search for Stone began late Monday evening after he approached a female Target employee as she was leaving work and demanded a ride. Police say Stone, who was identified by police after reviewing store surveillance camera footage, pointed a gun at the unidentified female.
After the woman was able to drive away safely, Stone ran into a heavily wooded area near the Target store at 1851 Vernaci Drive. Police searched the area at that time but were unable to locate Stone, who is known for living in the wooded areas around Washington.
Sitzes said police now know that when Stone left the Target store parking lot, he traveled through the wooded area and into Phoenix Park and then into Weber Heights subdivision. This information stems from multiple residents reporting sightings of Stone, according to Sitzes.
“The level of cooperation we had with this, well, it just goes without saying just how appreciative we are,” Sitzes said.
This is the second time in recent weeks that Stone has been the subject of a Washington Police Department investigation.
Police say Stone was involved in a recent incident at a Southwinds Court apartment, where he knocked on the front door and tried to force his way into the building. Following that investigation, seven people were arrested for outstanding warrants or new felony charges, including drug and weapon offenses.
According to electronic court records, Stone faces multiple charges dating back to 2019.
Among those charges are three counts of drug possession, all Class D felonies; two counts of tampering with a motor vehicle, both Class D felonies; one count of tampering with physical evidence, a Class E felony; and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle crash, both misdemeanors.