By JOHN M. HOOBER III
Lancaster New Era (Pennsylvania)
Copyright 2006 Lancaster Newspapers, Inc.
LANCASTER, Pa. — The young man who allegedly stole a Mercedes from a car dealership and then led police on a high-speed chase through the area Wednesday is in prison today under $50,000 cash bail.
After chasing him across western Lancaster County late Wednesday afternoon, police arrested 22-year-old Ryan Wayne Klein at about 5 p.m., after the car broke down near Penn Manor High School, Millersville.
Klein, whose address is unknown, is being held on a theft charge filed by Manheim Township police, but more charges are pending against him.
In addition to Wednesday's incidents, investigators believe Klein might have been involved in a Sunday-night police chase of another Mercedes.
On Wednesday, just after 4 p.m., an employee of Cheap Heaps, 934 N. Queen St., told Manheim Township police Officer Natalie Littlehale that a 2001 dark-blue Mercedes had been stolen from the firm's lot.
A Lancaster City police officer saw the car a short time later at West Orange and North Water streets and started after it.
The driver refused to pull over. City police pursued the car for about eight blocks before calling off the chase because of the unsafe speed the driver was traveling.
Other departments picked up the pursuit, which lasted about an hour.
Klein allegedly drove the Mercedes through sections of Lancaster Township, Manheim Township, Manor Township, East and West Hempfield townships, and Columbia Borough.
He ended up in the Millersville area, where a police officer fired two shots at the fleeing car at Route 741 and Stratford Drive, north of Millersville Pike.
The chase continued, but ended when the Mercedes broke down at George Street and Model Avenue, near the entrance to Penn Manor High School in Millersville, police said.
Klein fled on foot, but was captured a short time later.
Klein was brought back to police in Manheim Township, where Detective Brent Shultz charged him with theft for allegedly stealing the car from Cheap Heaps.
District Justice Jene Willwerth, of Ephrata, set bail at $50,000 cash, which Klein failed to post.
The investigation continues. A police spokesman said Klein is expected to be charged with fleeing/eluding police, traffic violations, and possibly reckless endangerment from the pursuit.
He also is a possible suspect in the earlier theft of a 1996 black Mercedes from a Manor Township dealership on Columbia Avenue, police said,
In that incident, police began chasing the 1996 Mercedes from the McDonald's restaurant at New Holland Avenue and North Franklin Street, in eastern Lancaster City, at about 10 p.m. Sunday.
Police had learned that the car might have been involved in a hit-and-run crash near the city police building.
The chase continued into the Eden area of Manheim Township and onto Route 30 west before police called it off near the Centerville Road exit.
Police in Pa. catch chase suspect after car breaks down