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Police arrested a man in a string of local car thefts Thursday night after he fled police in Council Bluffs, Iowa, earlier in the day, a Lincoln police spokeswoman said Friday.

At about 5 p.m., a man was unloading a cargo van near 27th Street and Woodsdale Boulevard and had left the keys inside when a Jeep Wrangler stopped in the middle of the street, Officer Angela Sands said.

The driver got out, got into the van and drove off, leaving the Jeep behind, she said. Police learned the Jeep had been stolen in Council Bluffs and fled a police chase there.

Sands said an officer tried to stop the stolen van in north Lincoln, but the driver sped off.

At 7:15 p.m., a man inside his home in the 9200 block of Leighton Avenue was alerted by his Ring video doorbell about motion in his driveway, Sands said. A van was parked in the driveway and his Chevy Lumina with the keys inside was stolen from his open garage.

Plain-clothes officers, Lancaster County sheriff’s deputies and a Nebraska State Patrol helicopter followed the Lumina to the area of 61st Street and Normal Boulevard at 9:40 p.m.

They arrested the driver, identified as Patrick Amburn, 42, on suspicion of three counts of felony theft and one count of fleeing to avoid arrest.

He was taken to the Lancaster County jail.

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Riley Johnson reports on breaking news and public safety issues in Lincoln and southeast Nebraska.

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