Rural King thief runs out of gas in Columbia

A Missouri man was arrested Sunday afternoon after committing a burglary and retail theft in Waterloo before speeding away from police until his getaway vehicle let him down. 

Police said that shortly before 1:30 p.m., the theft of items including a drill from Rural King at 740 N. Market Street in Waterloo was reported, with the male suspect driving off in a blue Dodge RAM. 

A Columbia police officer on the lookout for the suspect vehicle observed it traveling north on Route 3 near Route 158 and attempted to make a stop, after which the truck sped away from the officer on Route 3. At that point, the suspect began passing vehicles on the shoulder and driving erratically, resulting in the officer terminating pursuit.

Another Columbia police officer placed stop sticks on Route 3 northbound in an attempt to pull over the truck, which resulted in the suspect avoiding the stop sticks by continuing north in the southbound lanes of traffic. 

Unfortunately for the suspect, his truck at about that point began to slow down due to lack of fuel and he eventually pulled over in the parking lot of Walgreens in Columbia, where he was apprehended. 

The suspect, Kenneth R. Kulage, 38, of St. Louis, was charged with two counts of burglary – one for entering a woman’s parked vehicle at Dollar General in Waterloo and stealing a purse and the other for entering Rural King with intent to commit a theft – one count of retail theft, one count of fraudulent use of debit card and one count of aggravated fleeing/eluding police. 

Court information alleges that Kulage used a debit card from the stolen purse to purchase items exceeding $150. 

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