Two people who were wanted by authorities following a high-speed chase from Waterloo to rural Waverly were captured an hour apart Thursday after police received a tip from a resident.
Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson and Bremer County Sheriff Dan Pickett told Waverly Newspapers following the capture of the male suspect that he was in a residence along Hilton Avenue. His female companion was apprehended about a half mile away in the 2200 block of Grant Avenue.
Pickett explained that Black Hawk and Bremer deputies, Waverly police and the Iowa State Patrol set up a perimeter in the area southeast of Waverly. He added that no one was in danger while the suspect was holed up there, and he could not say whether the residence was occupied.
Thompson said there were some major challenges for authorities in apprehending the male suspect.
“It’s a very densely forested area,” Thompson said. “That makes it hard for FLIR (forward-looking infrared radar) to penetrate. It’s a large area. There’s a lot of residences in here. There’s a lot of traffic.
“We’re operating with three different agencies, multiple radio systems, so interoperability [could be a problem]. That seems to have improved for us as we take advantage of the technology that we have, but we do have great partnerships, great working relationships with Bremer County Sheriff’s Office, the state patrol, that all is working well for us.
“Mother Nature’s never kind in these kinds of operations, so it’s frustrating.”
According to a report from Black Hawk County, Waterloo police were executing a search warrant at a Waterloo motel when the suspects arrived. When they tried to make contact, the duo fled.
That resulted in a high-speed chase up U.S. Highway 63 into Denver and then along county roads before crashing near the Waverly Rail Trail on 39th Street Southeast. The vehicle caught fire, and the two suspects fled on foot and hid in the vegetation.
After the crash, a plume of black smoke billowed from the scene. The Iowa State Patrol sent up its airplane and also a few drones to scour the area from the air.
The Bremer County Sheriff’s Office had issued several bulletins asking the residents in the area to lock their doors and to make sure their car keys are not in their vehicle’s ignitions.
Sometime around 11, a resident contacted a Waverly officer, who then reported a sighting of the suspects around Grand Avenue and Hilton Avenue south of Iowa Highway 3. The female suspect was apprehended sometime after 11:30, and the male surrendered just before 1 p.m.
During the search, the state patrol’s aircraft returned to the scene, sometimes flying as low as 50 feet above the ground.
The identities of the two suspects have yet to be released as well as the charges that they face.
“We had a tight perimeter, we had a good use of the manpower we had here,” Thompson said. “Just taking advantage of the technology that we have.”