Last Thursday, a Monett man led the Barry County Sheriff's Department, Monett Police Department and Missouri State Highway Patrol on a high-speed car chase that ended in a crash.
A press release issued by Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly said that three vehicles were stolen from the Purdy area on Thursday night. The first stolen vehicle was a Dodge flatbed that was taken to another location in Purdy and abandoned. A second vehicle, a 1986 Oldsmobile, was stolen and also driven to another location in Purdy where it was abandoned. The suspect then stole a 1997 black Mustang.
According to a statement released by Monett Police Lieutenant Greg Brandsma, Monett officers moved into the vicinity of the most recent reported car theft and observed a dark colored Mustang matching the vehicle description southeast of the city. Officers positioned themselves to conduct a traffic stop on Waldensian Road near the rear entrance to the Church of the Nazarene.
"Upon stopping the Mustang, Monett officers found the driver not cooperative," Brandsma said. "The driver of the stolen Mustang, after stopping, hesitated momentarily then proceeded to accelerate in reverse, colliding with the police vehicle positioned behind the Mustang, causing damage to the front of the police vehicle.
"The driver then accelerated forward, colliding with the front of a second police vehicle, after which the Mustang proceeded south on Waldensian Road to Highway 37," Brandsma continued.
Officers pursued the stolen Mustang for a short distance into the city at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour. The stolen car traveled west on Highway 60 to Farm Road 1050 and then proceeded south. Officers following a parallel route on Farm Road 2020 and stopped their vehicle in the roadway as the Mustang accelerated toward the police car. The driver drove partially off the roadway and passed the police vehicle on the right at a high rate of speed.
At that point, the driver appeared to have over-corrected in steering back onto the road. The Mustang drove into a ditch on the north side of the roadway, colliding with a fence post and utility pole, coming to a stop.
Officers were able to take the driver, Cody Dobyns, 21, of Monett, into custody at that time. Damage to Monett police cars from the pursuit and capture of Dobyns has been estimated at more than $1,000.
Dobyns has been charged with three counts of first degree tampering with a motor vehicle and one count of possession of a controlled substance. Sheriff Epperly said that Dobyns was also found to be in violation of his probation.
Bond was set at $25,000 for the tampering charges, but Dobyns is being held at the Barry County Jail without bond on the probation violation.
Dobyns is a cousin to Timothy S. Plopper and John C. Plopper, who were arrested for a series of vehicle thefts and burnings earlier this year. Epperly said Dobyns was a suspect in that series of thefts.