State troopers arrested three people from Wyoming and recovered several stolen firearms Saturday, July 6 after pursuing two stolen vehicles.

Nebraska State Patrol spokesman Cody Thomas said it began at around 12:15 p.m. MT, when troopers learned that the Ogallala police were in pursuit of a Ford F-150 pickup that was stolen in Wyoming.

The Ogallala police discontinued the chase when it reached Ogallala out of concern for public safety.

A short time later, a trooper saw the same vehicle as it exited I-80 at Brule. The trooper tried to pull it over, but the driver headed west on U.S. Highway 30. The trooper gave chase, Thomas said.

After entering Deuel County, the vehicle turned south and continued on county roads. The vehicle finally stopped at a farm house near County Road 209 and County Road 4. All three occupants got out and ran away on foot.

Thomas said two of them stole a Ford F-350 pickup that was parked at the farm. Some troopers chased the stolen pickup, while others remained at the scene to search for the third suspect. The pickup ran down county roads in Deuel, Perkins, and Keith counties before returning to I-80 and heading east.

As the vehicle passed the Ogallala interchange, the Ogallala police were able to successfully deploy stop sticks, which brought the vehicle to a stop a short time later. The two occupants were taken into custody without further incident around 1 p.m. MT.

The third suspect was apprehended not far from where the first vehicle was abandoned, after troopers searched there. Troopers found stolen firearms, stolen credits cards, and methamphetamine inside the first stolen vehicle.

All three were taken to Keith County jail. They are charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen firearms, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a stolen financial transaction device, obstruction, and criminal mischief.

The driver, Michael Ayala, 20, was also charged with flight to avoid arrest and willful reckless driving. The two other occupants are both minors, age 18, Thomas said.

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