Burlington Man Accused of Ottumwa Auto Theft in Custody after Manhunt


A Burlington man was arrested earlier this week after he allegedly stole a car from an Ottumwa rental company and was tracked down by authorities after a manhunt.

A 2019 Hyundai was reported stolen from Ottumwa Monday night. Using GPS, authorities were able to track the car to a motel in Fort Madison.

Two individuals that were in the possession of the vehicle were questioned by authorities. One man, 38-year-old Loren Cheely, broke away and fled on foot into a wooded area.

A manhunt ensued involving multiple law enforcement departments. According to multiple reports, authorities used a thermal imaging camera, a drone, and numerous call from local residents. Cheely was eventually captured after a brief foot chase.

Cheely had a warrant out for his arrest for an unrelated misdemeanor. For the above incident, Cheely was charged with first-degree theft of a motor vehicle, interference with official acts causing injury, and felon in possession of a firearm.

Despite the theft occurring in Ottumwa, court records indicate that Cheely will most likely be charged in Lee County. Cheely is currently in the Lee County Jail with his bond set at $10,000.

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