Man arrested after multiple car chases in stolen cars

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BOONE COUNTY - The Missouri State Highway patrol arrested the man responsible for two high speed chases in Boone and Audrain counties Saturday afternoon.

The Boone County Sheriff's Department said the initial call reported a suspicious incident, in which the suspect knocked on the side of a house. When the caller confronted the suspect, he fled in a car stolen earlier from Fulton. 

Sergeant Micheal Perkins said when the driver fled, he almost hit the responding deputy head-on on Route Z. The deputy then attempted a traffic stop and the chase continued, reaching speeds of 100 miles per hour.

The suspect, identified as Clifford Helmka, rolled the car he was driving on Carter School Road and fled to the woods south of the area. The sheriff's department brought in a K-9 unit to search for the suspect.

Perkins said the department received another report of a stolen car in the area, and he said he had reason to believe that the suspect was Helmka.

The highway patrol said Helmka stole a vehicle near the accident scene, a yellow GMC truck, and drove it to the Westland Travel Center. At the travel center he stole a red and white Mercury. He then led a trooper on a chase along Highway 54 into Audrain County. Another trooper slowed Helmka's car with spikes, and Helmka struck a vehicle on the highway while traveling the wrong way. The highway patrol said the driver of the other car sustained minor injuries.

The chase concluded near Mexico. and the highway patrol took Helmka into custody. He is currently being held at the Callaway County Jail on a $25,000 cash only bond on charges of stealing a motor vehicle, tampering with a motor vehicle, felony resisting arrest, and numerous traffic violations.

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