A Bryan is in custody after leading area police on a high-speed chase that followed a week-long, three-state crime spree that included five stolen vehicles.
Jade Herzog, 41, was already in custody in Hillsdale, Michigan after Hillsdale County Circuit Judge Michael R. Smith issued a bench warrant for his arrest Dec. 5 when Herzog failed to appear for a sentencing hearing for methamphetamine-related charges, the Hillsdale Daily News reported.
Herzog also failed to make an appointment with the Circuit Court’s probation department to complete a pre-sentence investigation report.
His recent saga began Dec. 26 when he walked away from Hillsdale Hospital while on medical leave from the county jail, a press release from the Williams County Sheriff’s Office stated.
Herzong stole a car in Stryker Dec. 29, and drove to Kunkle where he is accused of home invasion to obtain a cell phone. The stolen car was found Dec. 30 near Lake Seneca where Herzog stole another vehicle.
Sometime between 1 a.m. and 1 p.m., Herzog is believed to have stolen items from vehicles in Branch and Hillsdale counties in Michigan as well as Steuben County, Indiana.
Herzog tried to use a stolen credit card at a motel near the Ohio Turnpike on SR 108. The motel employees called the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, but Herzog fled the scene before the sheriff or Wauseon police officers could arrive.
Wauseon police spotted the suspect and attempted to stop him, but he rammed the police vehicle which led to the pursuit into Williams County.
Williams County received a call of a vehicle theft at 12:15 a.m., Jan. 1 on CR 20 near Alvordton. Herzog stole another vehicle in Alvordton. Citizens calls help police learn he was driving a Chevy S-10 pickup.
Herzog attempted to ram a WCSO vehicle and turned onto CR O between CR 15 and 16 near Kunkle. The rear tire of the S-10 had blown.
Herzog tried to ram another WCSO vehicle, lost control of his vehicle and ended up in a ditch on CR O.
Herzog was transported first to a Bryan hospital before being transferred to St. Vincent in Toledo where he is under protective observation.
He is facing multiple felony charges in addition to his original drug charges in Michigan.
There is no time set for Herzog to be arraigned, Williams County Sheriff Steven Towns said.
Herzog’s crime spree could have been thwarted had people just taken the keys out of their car’s ignition and locked their vehicles, Towns said. The county has now seen about 20 car thefts in the last six months due to that one action, he said.
“People have to quit leaving their keys in their cars,” Towns said. “Most of these people (thieves) couldn’t hot wire a car.
“We could stop 90 percent of these yahoos; they won’t even break a window.”
James Pruitt may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org