A ground and aerial search was conducted Wednesday afternoon for a man wanted by the Sheriff's Department after he abandoned the van he was driving and disappeared into a thicket just north of town.
Sheriff Patrick Ray says 37 year old Michael Vance, who alluded authorities for several hours, is now in custody. He was picked up Wednesday night on Adams Street not far from where he had broken into a residence.
Vance was wanted by the Sheriff's Department for aggravated burglary and violation of probation. He now faces additional charges of driving on a revoked license (2nd offense), and felony evading arrest. His bond on all the charges totals $22,000 but he is being held without bond on the violation of probation warrant.
According to Sheriff Ray, the incident began Wednesday afternoon after a deputy spotted Vance driving a van. The officer got behind the van, which turned from Church Street in Smithville, onto Holmes Creek Road, and then onto a side dirt road. Vance got out of the van and fled on foot. Two other people were with Vance in the van but they did not flee and are not in trouble with the law.
Sheriff Ray says county deputies and officers of the Smithville Police Department joined in a ground search and members of the Warren County Sheriff's Department conducted an aerial search by helicopter, but Vance could not be found. Ray says officers even checked out a shed in the area where Vance was known to stay, but no one was there.
Sheriff Ray says since the search was being conducted in the area of Northside Elementary School, officials of the DeKalb County School System were contacted and the school was placed under lock down for a period of time. However, neither students or teachers had to stay longer than the regular school hours.
Vance has a criminal history having been charged in the past with burglary and theft, drug offenses, and carrying a prohibited weapon.