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Police report: Stolen car, DUITell North Platte what you think
Photo by Lincoln County Detention Center
Russell Smith (no middle name)
Photo by Lincoln County Detention Center
Santos D. Polanco

A North Platte man allegedly tried to steal a Jeep in the 900 block of West Second shortly after midnight Tuesday, but accidently set the brakes and couldn’t release them.

Police found Russell Smith, 34, about a block from the scene of the theft.

On Tuesday at 12:20 a.m., a resident told police he saw a man get into his neighbor's Jeep and drive off. The Jeep went about a block, then the brakes locked up and he pulled to the side of the street.

An officer arrived and found the 2015 Jeep Trailhawk still running near First and Grant, police spokesman John Deal said.

Smith, who was driving, said he had permission to have the Jeep, but when police contacted the owners, they said they had no idea who Smith was. 

Smith apparently found the vehicle unlocked and the key FOB that starts the vehicle inside. He accidentally engaged the emergency brake as he drove off, which caused him to have to pull over, according to the police report.

Smith could not figure out how to disengage the brake and was still in the seat when police arrived.

Deal said Smith smelled of alcohol and showed signs of intoxication. He failed a preliminary breath test. 

He was charged with theft of the vehicle, which was valued at around $30,000, as well as driving on a suspended license and driving under the influence, second offense.

He also had a couple of previous warrants, Deal said, so he faces two counts of contempt of court.

Smith is initially held without bond in the Lincoln County jail.


Polanco: accident similar to year ago

On Monday, June 19 at 6:23 p.m., an officer went to the area of Seventh and Jeffers to check out a reported traffic accident. 

Witnesses said a car hit a parked car and the driver appeared to be intoxicated. 

When officers arrived, they found Santos Polanco behind the wheel of a green 2003 Chevy Malibu that was still running, police spokesman John Deal said. 

Polanco showed signs of intoxication and refused to take a field sobriety test or a breath test, according to the police report.

After talking to witnesses, police believe Polanco was westbound on Seventh. After he crossed the intersection of Jeffers, he hit a parked 2009 Dodge Ram pickup on the north side of Seventh, in front of the Hub Bar. 

Then Polanco crossed left of center and hit the curb on the south side of the street, where he stopped. 

Police found an open bottle of whiskey in Polanco’s vehicle. The damage was relatively light. The pickup sustained around $500 in damages and the Malibu around $100, police said. 

Polanco was driving on a suspended license, with three prior driving under the influence convictions within 15 years.

Polanco’s most recent arrest was in August 2016, after he drove his car into a semi-truck at Ninth and Cottonwood. Police found him passed out in the driver’s seat. Before hitting the truck, he had hit a mailbox and a parked pickup as his car weaved back and forth across the street for more than three blocks. He served 54 days in jail for those charges.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 6/20/2017
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