COLUMBIA CITY — A stolen vehicle found its way into Whitley County’s License Branch Monday night after a four-mile police pursuit at 11 p.m.
Danny Rose, 20, of Columbia City, was arrested on charges of vehicle theft, reckless driving and resisting law enforcement after he drove into the Whitley County Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) on Countryside Drive in Columbia City.
Officials say Rose allegedly stole the vehicle from an ex-girlfriend, and was suicidal, prompting police to attempt to locate him.
He was found in the area of County Road 400 North and Ind. 9 before he fled from police.
Police chased him south on Ind. 9 to Liberty Drive and circled behind Kroger at a high rate of speed.
He failed to turn at the intersection with Countryside drive, and skidded through the parking lot of the Whitley County BMV office before crashing through the north wall of the building.
The vehicle didn’t stop until it reached the back wall of the office — approximately 40 feet into the building. A hole in the wall busted through to the neighboring insurance office, which shares the building with the BMV.
Damage is estimated to be in the tens-of-thousands of dollars. Officials said license materials were strewn all over the building, including temporary license plates, registration stickers, vehicle weight and identification stickers and other office items.
The vehicle traveled through the area where many BMV employees would be working during the day, and several computers were also smashed, as well as pieces of the ceiling destroyed.
The license branch will not be open for business Tuesday, and BMV officials from Indianapolis are expected to visit.
Rose sustained minor leg injuries, but was released from the hospital and booked in the Whiltey County Jail on a 10 percent, $19,500 bond by the Columbia City Police Department.
CCPD officials were unavailable for comment before presstime, but according to police scanner traffic, officials had been looking for Rose for more than 24 hours.
Customers with questions or concerns about the closure of the Whitley County BMV should call 888-692-6841.