Bath Salt Bandit Arrested After Police Chase

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WENTZVILLE, MO (KTVI) - A seven hour manhunt results with police and sheriff`s deputies arresting their man.

It all began around 6:30 Monday morning at a bait and tackle store on Highway 94 in St. Charles County.  

Authorities said a man stole some bath salts.  In the past police said some bath salts were nothing more than synthetic illegal drugs.   

The man fled in a vehicle and police pursued.  He ditched the vehicle in Wentzville and took off on foot.  

Finally around 1:30 p.m. police arrested the 35-year-old man in a Wentzville subdivision.  He is from Troy, Missouri.

The incident had residents on edge as police searched their neighborhood. Makayla Sasse said, "I was kind of freaked especially it was just me and my mom at home, first thing she was like let`s get the guns."  Another woman added, "Yes, I was on guard."

St. Charles Sheriff Deputy Sgt. Jeff Ochs said, "To find him, it was very difficult we`ve been at this all morning."

Earlier 17-year-old Andrew Beilman spotted the shirtless man who was wearing only shorts and socks run through his back yard.  Beilman said, "We do have a Doberman that was chasing him and he chased him, like we have an electric fence, he could only chase him so far I guess the guy was hiding back in the woods."

Sgt. Ochs said the team work of his department and other agencies paid off, "So thru perseverance we eventually located him...it`s a relief getting him off the street and we can also possibly clear up a crime with more investigation."

The man who was arrested made this comment, "It`s this goddam economy making a good man do bad things. Madden: So, you don`t use them? No comment."

Bath salts have been stolen from the store before and police recovered the evidence and determined the salts were illegal drugs.  The store owner was charged and is scheduled to go on trial this fall.  The latest stolen bath salts will also be checked and the store owner could be in even more trouble.

The name of the man has not been released the sheriff will seek charges tomorrow morning

"Bath salts" are a new synthetic drug that has acts like cocaine. - More information.