Two Springfield men are in jail on felony charges accusing them of stealing vehicles and receiving stolen property in an investigation that included the ramming of a sheriff's cruiser.
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Jeffrey Palmer, 33, is charged with one count of receiving stolen property.
Robert Coder, 27, described by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office as Palmer's accomplice, is in custody on a raft of charges:
- Receiving stolen property
- Felonious assault on a police officer
- Assault on a police officer
- Failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer
According to the Clark County Sheriff's Office, Palmer was arrested about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at a McDonald's on East Main Street in Springfield after a sheriff’s deputy's automated license plate reader alerted him to a possible stolen vehicle that had passed him.
In the vehicle was evidence connecting Palmer to the stolen car and other thefts. That evidence led deputies and detectives to the Townhouse Motor Lodge, also on East Main Street, where a second stolen vehicle was recovered.
Palmer consented to a search of his motel room and investigators found even more evidence of criminal activity, as well as information about a third stolen vehicle in the area of Wittenberg University.
The information from the motel led investigators to the Ronez Apartments in northeast Springfield, where they found a fourth stolen vehicle.
While conducting surveillance on the fourth vehicle, investigators watched as two men later identified as Coder and Kurt Miracle got in it and drove off. When police tried to stop the car, Coder rammed a Clark County sheriff's cruiser in trying to elude capture.
The deputy was not injured, sheriff's Lt. Kristopher Shultz said Tuesday night.
Authorities, during the arrests, learned Miracle was wanted in Madison County. He was not involved in the investigation of Palmer and Coder, Lt. Shultz said, noting that Miracle "was in the wrong place at the right time" and surrendered to Madison County authorities directly.
Palmer and Coder were taken to the Clark County Jail. Their initial appearances in court could come Wednesday morning.
The sheriff's investigation is continuing to determine the identities of the victims so their property can be returned to them.
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