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Multi-county theft suspect nabbed after nearly striking detective

A Darke County man, wanted in connection to several thefts across multiple counties, was arrested after trying to flee from officers in Celina Sunday. 

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Officers were initially dispatched to reports of a suspicious person at Bud’s Jeep and Chrysler car dealership on South Main Street Sunday, Celina Police Chief Tom Wale said in a media release Monday. 

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While searching the area for the suspect, police and deputies located a pickup truck about a block away on Murlin Avenue that appeared to be occupied. Officers said they recognized the truck from multiple crimes in Mercer and surrounding counties. 

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“As officers were checking the vehicle, which had dark tinted windows (that) were fogged over, the lights came on and an officer could see a male hunched down inside the cab,” Wale said. “Celina officers and Mercer County Sheriff’s Deputies had the truck surrounded and were ordering the (driver) out of the truck.” 

The driver, later identified as Jason Amspaugh, 31, of Union City, Ohio, started the truck and accelerated towards a detective with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, Wale said. The detective was able to get out of the way of the truck before it crashed into a parked car and came to rest in a ditch. 

Amspaugh was arrested after the crash. Investigators were granted a search warrant of the truck where they located multiple stolen items, including ones stolen from the Celina car dealership, Wale said. 

Police later obtained a search warrant for Amspaugh’s home on Ellis Road in Union City, where an estimated $75,000 worth of stolen merchandise was recovered. 

Amspaugh remains booked in the Mercer County Jail on a $500,000 bond on preliminary charges of felonious assault of a peace officer and fleeing. The case remains under review by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. 

Police did not say if Amspaugh is facing charges in any of the surrounding counties he’s accused of committing crimes. 

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