Richmond police arrested a Winchester man Friday after he reportedly stole a car from the lot of a local towing business, narrowly missing an employee of the lot.

Police were dispatched at approximately 3 a.m. to Dargavell’s Towing, 531 Big Hill Avenue, to investigate a theft of services complaint. 

Officers met with a representative of the company who said they had been towing vehicles from the U.S. Bank parking lot on E. Main Street, said Richmond Police Chief Larry Brock.

“As the employees were preparing to leave the premises (of their lot), they observed two men near the fenced-in storage lot,” Brock said. “One of the males was observed climbing over the fence to gain access to the lot while the other was crouched near the locked gates seemingly acting as a lookout.”

One of the men fled the scene when he was confronted by the employees, Brock said.

The other man, later identified as Jamie L. Lankford, 21, entered a Mazda parked on the lot — which was one of the vehicle that had been towed from the U.S. Bank parking lot — and started it and accelerated at a high rate of speed toward the locked gates, the chief said.

“An employee attempted to get the vehicle to stop but was unsuccessful,” Brock said. “Another employee attempted to block the front of gates with a tow truck but the driver swerved around the wrecker and rammed through the locked gates, nearly striking another employee standing near the gate.”

The vehicle fled toward the downtown area and was not found.

Investigation into the case identified Lankford as a suspect. Richmond police asked for the help of Winchester police after discovering Lankford was a Winchester resident.

“Winchester officers located the vehicle involved and detained Lankford until RPD officers arrived to take custody,” Brock said.

Lankford was transported to Richmond, and was interviewed and lodged in the Madison County Detention Center on charges of first-degree wanton endangerment, second-degree criminal mischief and theft of services.

Other crimes

• Joshua R. Lamb, 23, of Scaffold Cane Road, was arrested Thursday at 3:30 p.m. after officers were dispatched to Richmond Centre to investigate a report of an unresponsive adult male slumped over the steering wheel of a vehicle. There also was a small child in the back seat, according to police.

“Officers noted he was sweating and warm to the touch, but could not rouse him and called for EMS assistance,” Brock said.

A 21-month-old child was taken from the vehicle.

EMS personnel arrived on the scene and were able to rouse Lamb, who refused EMS treatment. He appeared to be under the influence of an intoxicant other than alcohol, according to police.

A female companion of Lamb’s, later identified as Andrea F. Baker, 20, arrived at the vehicle. She indicated that she was the parent of the child involved.

A search of the vehicle by the officers on the scene resulted in the recovery of approximately 21 grams of marijuana, seven clonazepam pills, three gabapentin pills and several items of drug paraphernalia.

Lamb is charged with public intoxication, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, third-degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of a legend drug and first-degree wanton endangerment.

He was taken to the detention center.

Baker was cited and released for possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, third-degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of a legend drug and endangering the welfare of a minor.

The child was released to Baker and another responsible relative after consultation with social services.

• Police charged Dalance D. Roberts, 30, S. Keeneland Drive, for numerous drug charges following a welfare check at a hotel room he was occupying.

Police were dispatched at approximately 11:30 p.m. to the Red Roof Inn to conduct a welfare check on an infant reported to be in a room occupied by Roberts. 

“During the course of the contact, a plastic baggie with suspected drug residue was located in the room,” Brock said.

Shortly thereafter, Roberts allegedly attempted to destroy a quantity of suspected cocaine by opening a drawer and dousing the cocaine with cranberry juice. Roberts was detained and a search of the room produced 10 grams of suspected cocaine, 47 oxycodone tablets, two scales, plastic baggies, a small amount of marijuana, other drug paraphernalia and in excess of $1,000.

The child was found to be in the care of its mother and was not harmed.  

Roberts was taken into custody and lodged in the detention center on charges of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence and possession of marijuana.

• A resident in the 400 block of Smith Village reported Wednesday that a large, inflatable pumpkin and an extension cord had been stolen from her front yard overnight. The estimated loss is $16.

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