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Lincoln man accused of drunkenly stealing city SUV that was left running and crashing it into city bus
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Lincoln man accused of drunkenly stealing city SUV that was left running and crashing it into city bus

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Police say a 24-year-old Lincoln man stole a marked city public works SUV and totaled it by drunkenly crashing into the rear of a city bus over the lunch hour Wednesday. 

No one on the bus was injured. 

Jacob W. Jones was booked into jail on a string of charges, including theft by unlawful taking, DUI, reckless driving, driving on a revoked license and leaving the scene of an accident. 

Prosecutors charged him Thursday with felony theft. 

Jacob Jones

Jacob Jones

Officer Luke Bonkiewicz said a city employee working in the area of 10th and N streets had left a 2007 Chevy Equinox in the westbound turn lane just south of the intersection with the keys in and running to briefly work on the other side of the street.

When his attention returned to the vehicle a few minutes later, he saw it was missing.

Bonkiewicz said police found witnesses who had seen a man walking on the sidewalk get in the SUV and drive away. It happened at about 12:30 p.m.

A few minutes later, police got called to a crash at P Street and Capitol Beach Boulevard, where the same stolen SUV had run a stop sign and crashed into the back of a StarTran bus with four passengers inside. 

Bonkiewicz said the bus driver and a passenger held down Jones, who allegedly had tried to drive away but only got half a block in the damaged SUV, then got out and ran. 

His BAC tested 0.115, well over the 0.08 legal limit to drive, police said in the accident report.

Ryan Schmidt, the StarTran bus driver, said: “My StarTran teammates and I take the safety of our passengers and the Lincoln community seriously. I was happy to be able to help out where I could. I hope this experience will motivate the individual to make more positive decisions in the future.”

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Public safety reporter

Lori Pilger is a Norfolk native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been a public safety reporter for the Journal Star since 2005.

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