Car Thief Who Died In Long Distance Central Iowa Police Chase Hailed From Kansas City

Police Beat (Photo: The Register)

A Des Moines car theft suspect died Thursday morning after a lengthy police pursuit that began in Story County ended in a crash in Webster County, authorities said. 

Philip Wooden, 25, of Kansas City, Missouri, was identified as the suspect on Friday, according to an Iowa State Patrol report.  

Wooden is accused of robbing a driver at gunpoint hours earlier in Des Moines, Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Nathan Ludwig said.

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Des Moines officers were called at about 3:35 a.m. to the 1700 block of Walker Street on the east side to investigate a vehicle theft. The victim there told officers he was driving nearby on East University Avenue when a man robbed him at gunpoint, police said. 

That driver was not injured, Des Moines police Sgt. Paul Parizek said. 

An hour later, a Story City police officer, about 40 miles north, attempted to stop the stolen vehicle on Interstate 35. Story City police Sgt. Jerry Spencer said his officers first found the car stopped in the middle of the road. 

A lengthy chase began, involving numerous agencies, and ended when the vehicle crashed in Webster County, killing Wooden, Parizek said. 

The chase lasted more than an hour, ending shortly before 6 a.m. south of Highway 7 on Highway 169 on the western edge of Fort Dodge, Ludwig said. The pursuit, which stretched three counties, was rare in length, police said. 

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