A man arrested in Gardner last month after allegedly stealing a car in Nebraska and leading
police on a chase is back behind bars as a suspect in a similar crime.
Ilena Spalding, public information officer for the Gardner Police Department, said officers arrested 30-year-old Christopher Lee Butcher on May 10 after receiving a tip that he was possibly driving a stolen vehicle.
Butcher was taken into custody about 3 a.m. at a home in the 32300 block of W. 166th Street.
He was charged later that day with felony theft for allegedly stealing a 2008 Ford Focus out of Lincoln, Neb.
Butcher remains jailed in lieu of a $20,000 bond.
The arrest came just four days after Butcher was released from the Johnson County jail following a previous alleged car theft that also started in Lincoln and ended in Gardner.
In that case, Butcher allegedly led Gardner police on a pursuit April 14 after an officer attempted to pull him over for speeding on North Moonlight Road.
Police said the car had been reported stolen in Nebraska.
Stop sticks were deployed at 167th and Gardner Road after the suspect had turned the vehicle around and started driving back eastbound.
After hitting the stop sticks, the vehicle struck a tree in a yard in the 800 block of N. Cottonwood St.
The suspect fled on foot, but was then captured with the help of canine units from Lenexa and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.
Butcher was charged with a felony count of fleeing a law enforcement officer and was jailed for 23 days in lieu of a $10,000 bond.
He reached a plea agreement with the district attorney’s office on May 6 and got out of jail on a reduced $5,000 personal recognizance bond.
Police allege that after Butcher was released from jail, he returned to Lincoln, stole another car, and then drove back to Gardner.
Butcher gave police a Gardner address and said he was living at the home with a roommate.
A preliminary hearing for the latest charges has been set for 9:30 a.m. on May 19 in Johnson County District Court Division 5.
Lincoln authorities also have two cases pending against Butcher.