A 43-year-old man wanted for theft and assaulting a police officer has been arrested, authorities say Friday morning.
Anthony Melvin was taken into custody on Thursday afternoon after he was captured on East Tamaroa Road just outside of Tamaroa. According to published reports, the search had been centered to a wooded area and cornfield between East Tamaroa and Bluebird roads.
Citizens were warned that Melvin was expected to be armed and dangerous and to stay clear of the area while the search was being conducted. The warning was issued after a pursuit through two counties where Melvin eluded police over the past few days.
Melvin has been named as a suspect in several other vehicle and ATV/UTV thefts in the area over the past 10 days. The crimes reportedly occurred in Perry and Franklin counties. Wednesday’s pursuit began with reports of a break-in and theft of a grain truck in a rural area in northeastern Perry County.
At 11:30 a.m. Thursday, someone reportedly saw Melvin in Tamaroa on a red ATV. Deputies were dispatched to the area, and call to assist was made out to other agencies. Melvin reportedly fled through the fields on the ATV, where he diverted down county roads in an effort to further elude police.
Officers from the Perry County Sheriff’s Office, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, DuQuoin Police Department, Sesser Police Department, Illinois State Police, Illinois Conservation Police and the US Marshall Service were all involved in setting up a perimeter. Melvin was arrested without incident at 3:16 p.m.
Perry County Sheriff Steve Bareis thanked the agencies that assisted the office in Melvin’s arrest.
“I want to thank all the law enforcement entities and departments that assisted with the capture of Mr. Melvin,” Bareis said. “He is currently being held at the Perry County jail.”
Melvin had been driving a stolen blue 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe while he led officers on a pursuit through Perry and Franklin counties on Wednesday. He was then suspected in a 1987 White Chevy two ton farm truck theft that was stolen in Scheller that traveled through Waltonville.
Sesser Police were searching for Melvin as a suspect in the assault of a police officer Wednesday morning. According to WSIL, Melvin and the officer fought after Melvin allegedly pulled a knife on him. The officer was cut before he was able to disarm Melvin. Police said the officer was later treated and released from a local hospital.
Bareis also said that investigations are ongoing in determining the “numerous thefts that have occurred.” According to online court records, charges are pending in Perry County Court.