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Fort Drum soldier charged in car theft, police chase

PAMELIA -- State troopers arrested a Fort Drum soldier early Saturday morning after he allegedly stole a sports utility vehicle on post and then was involved in a series of hit and run accidents before getting caught following a brief foot chase near the state police barracks off Route 37.

Daniel J. Longnecker, 27, of 10863A Omaha St., Fort Drum, was charged with theft of a motor vehicle, multiple counts of vandalism, driving while intoxicated, third-degree felony grand larceny, three counts of third-degree felony criminal mischief and fourth-degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor.

Investigators said Mr. Longnecker stole a 2009 Mercury Mariner from Utah Streetand was then involved in several hit and run accidents on post. The incident began about 2 a.m., said a state trooper who declined to comment further.

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Mr. Longnecker thendrove the damaged vehicle to Allen's Budget Motel on State Route 342 in the town of Pamelia, where he abandoned it. He subsequently damaged a 2004 Subaru parked at the motel, by smashing its rear window and trying to force it out of gear, state police said in a press release.

As state police and Jefferson County Sheriff deputies approached Allen's Motel, Longnecker fled into a wooded field just prior to their arrival, investigators said. He also tried to enter a nearby Route 37 home before alluding police once again.

Police later saw him in the parking lot of the state police barracks on State Route 37, where they witnessed him damage twoother vehicles there, investigators said.

Mr. Longnecker, who was arraigned LeRay Town Court, was remanded to the Metro-Jefferson County Public Safety Building in lieu of $5,000 bail.

It was unclear Saturday night what prompted the incident, how long it lasted, the extent of the damage caused to the vehicles and why he ended up at the state police barracks.

With the investigation continuing, he is expected to face additional vehicle and traffic charges, state police said. Mr. Longnecker also faces military charges.

State police were also assisted by Military Police and the Evans Mills Ambulance Squad.

 

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