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Pursuit Suspect Tried To Steal ATM Before Chase

August 17, 2012, 5:59 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Pursuit Suspect Tried To Steal ATM Before Chase

It started as an attempted ATM burglary in Valley Springs and ended nearly seven hours later at a rural Lincoln County farm.

Authorities say 34-year-old Tyson Shawn Wessels of Chancellor, SD tried to steal an ATM from the Pumphouse convenience store just before 5:00 a.m. Friday morning. But a nearby neighbor could hear the burglar alarm and called the sheriff's office and that's when the pursuit began.

According to authorities, Wessels stole two vehicles and rammed into two sheriffs deputies and the witness to the crime after he left the Pumphouse in Valley Springs.

One of the vehicles was a MidWestern Mechanical work truck and when the deputy tried to stop him that’s when he hit the deputy.

"The driver threw it into reverse and rammed the deputy while he was at his door," Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead said.

The deputy fired three shots into the truck and Wessels took off into Iowa. Deputies lost sight of him, but the pick-up was equipped with GPS.

Officials at MidWestern Mechanical were able to track the pick-up, giving authorities an update on Wessels whereabouts.

"Without that tracking when officers totally lost sight, before we had our air assets here, it would have been next to impossible to locate him," Milstead said.

Authorities caught up with Wessels in a corn field southeast of Harrisburg where an Iowa State Patrol plane and a South Dakota Highway Patrol plane helped guide crews on the ground as Wessels weaved through the fields.

But Wessels got away from one field and led law enforcement to a rural farm where he ditched the pick-up and ran into another corn field where he was eventually arrested.

"He went down through a yard here chased by troopers and deputies and ultimately they brought in dogs and made the apprehension," Milstead said.

An apprehension more than six hours after Wessels tried to get away with some quick cash from the Valley Springs Pumphouse.

"I think they were probably thinking that in a smaller town they can get away with more stuff," Pumphouse co-owner James Ely said.

Wessels also reportedly rammed into a Lyon County, Iowa Sheriff's Deputy when authorities were pursuing him in that state.

So far, he's been charged with third degree burglary and aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer.

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