BEATRICE – What began as a gas drive-off, ended with a high-speed pursuit and arrest of a suspect with a suspended North Dakota driver’s license.
A Gage County Sheriff’s Deputy arrested 33-year-old Edwin Erbentraut, Jr. for theft, fleeing to avoid arrest, willful reckless driving and having no operator’s license.
The deputy noticed a vehicle fitting the description of one Beatrice Police were looking for, in a gas drive-off from the Git-N-Split Convenience Store. The deputy observed the vehicle near U.S. Highway 77 and West Locust Road, south of Beatrice. The officer tried to catch up to the vehicle, traveling 70 to 75 miles per hour. Near Maple Road, the driver turned off the highway into a driveway, then continued driving along a dirt path.
The car then turned south at the end of a harvested field, then traveled west near a row of trees. The car then went through a grass field and back onto U.S. Highway 77, southbound. The officer pursued the vehicle at speeds of up to 120-to-130 miles-per-hour, before the suspect pulled over along West Osage Road.
Erbentraut was arrested there. His driver’s license was found to be suspended, in North Dakota. Records indicated he had a prior conviction for fleeing, in that state.
The gas drive-off involved the theft of $35, of fuel.