Suspected car thieves ignore cold

Suspects lead officers on car, foot chase; one winds up on KCI tarmac with frostbite

After a high-speed chase through the record-breaking cold in a stolen vehicle, two St. Joseph men will be cooling their heels a different way — in jail. 

Matthew C. Salmons, 30, has been charged with first degree tampering and resisting a lawful stop, both felonies, after an incident March 3. According to court documents, Platte City Police Officers Sergeant James Tharp and Officer Christian Koellicker observed a 2003 Honda Accord exiting the parking lot of Taco Bell in Platte City at about 11:30 p.m. The vehicle was identified as one stolen from St. Joseph earlier in the evening and the officers attempted to stop the car, which took off at high speed westbound down Highway 92. Police chased the Honda down Fourth Street and according to the statement of probable cause filed with the court, the vehicle traveled at speeds between 65-70 miles per hour over snow and ice packed streets. The vehicle traveled to Northwest 136th Street and turned the wrong direction at the roundabout and headed east. On Running Horse Road, the vehicle reached about 80 miles per hour. The two occupants of the Honda crashed and bailed out at about Northwest 120th Street and Running Horse and fled on foot through an open field. Members of the Platte County Sheriff’s Department, Missouri Highway Patrol and Riverside Police Department K-9 assisted in tracking the suspects. Salmons, the driver of the vehicle, was located within about two hours, but the passenger was not located until about 3 a.m. when he was found on the tarmac at Kansas City International Airport by airport police. He was admitted into an area hospital with frostbite and hypothermia and has not been charged as of press time.