According to a press release from the Colby Police Department, Thursday’s high speed chase on I-70 westbound started with a reported theft that occurred on Jan. 1 at Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart reported the theft to local authorities at 4:57 in the morning New Years Day. There were two suspects, a male and female, but workers did not get a name. Wal-Mart did submit photographs of the suspects and their vehicle to police, but were unable to locate them on Wednesday.
The vehicle and suspects were spotted at 2:30 central time Thursday driving by on West 3rd Street. Office Sam Steele attempted to pull the van over but they did not yield. After committing numerous traffic violations in Colby, the vehicle took off westbound on I-70 towards Brewster.
Kansas Highway Patrol and the Thomas County Sheriff’s Department engaged in a high speed chase. The van ran over a spike strip at Mile Post 41, successfully stripping the tire. The suspects were 24-year-old Joshua Shankland of Fort Walton Beach, FL (driver) and 34-year-old Tiffany Gann of Colorado Springs, CO.
In an attempt to evade police, Shankland drove through a barbwire fence to Thomas Co. Road 3 and was eventually stopped in the 300 block of County Road N.
Here’s the full press release from Colby PD:
“On Wednesday 1-1-2014 at 0835, Wal-Mart called to report a theft that had occurred earlier at 0457 this date. A male and a female had stolen numerous items from the store. The male later exited through a fire exit to where the female was waiting in a white full size van with U-Haul markings on it. They then left the parking lot. Wal-Mart was able to determine the items stolen by in store security camera recordings. They provided Officer Sam Steele with photos of the vehicle, and both the male and female suspects. Officers were unable to locate the vehicle or suspects.
On Thursday 1-2-2014 at 1430, Officer Steele was handling a call in the 600 block of W. 3rd. At this time he saw a white van with U-Haul markings the same as on the suspect vehicle from Wal-Mart drive by going west on 3rd. He also recognized the male driver and female passenger as the suspects from the photos from Wal-Mart.
Officer Steele attempted to stop the vehicle in the 700 block of S. Range. At that time the van, a 2013 Ford E250 bearing 2014 Arizona tag AE64304 and belonging to U-Haul out of Phoenix, Arizona, failed to stop. The driver began to flee from Officer Steele, committing numerous traffic violations in the process. The vehicle went west on I-70 from Colby.
Officer Steele was assisted in the chase of the vehicle by officers from the Kansas Highway Patrol and the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office. The vehicle had a tire spiked at about Mile Post 41 I-70 and it slowed the vehicle. The vehicle left I-70 by driving through a fence to Thomas County Road 3 and finally was stopped in the 300 block of County Road N.
Taken into custody were Joshua Scott Shankland, 24, of Fort Walton Beach, FL who had been driving and Tiffany Page Gann, 34, of Colorado Springs, Colorado. The U-Haul had been rented in Colorado Springs on 12-31-2013 for a 4 hour period, but had not been returned at the end of that time by Shankland.
Shankland and Gann are being held for charges of Theft from Wal-Mart. Gann is also wanted out of Colorado for other offenses. The case is still under investigation at this time and other charges may be filed.”
—This story was written and compiled by Beau Tiongson. Special thanks to area law enforcement for their assistance