A chronic criminal is behind bars today and law-enforcement officers in western Iowa hope he doesn’t slip away again. Montgomery County Sheriff Tony Updegrove says Shaun Akers was a one-man crime wave. The sheriff says he’s worked in law-enforcement in the area since 1986 and within a couple years after that Akers was beginning his criminal career, starting as a 15-year-old stealing cars for initiation into an Omaha gang. “Ever since then he’s been notorious for car theft, theft, a lot of drug activity,” the sheriff ticks off the list. He says Akers has often tried to elude officers in the past, sometimes failing but sometimes getting away. He recalls a time in neighboring Mills County when officers were chasing the fugitive, who was driving a stolen vehicle. “He wrecked that vehicle by the Nishna Valley School there on Highway 34 and broke his ankle, and he still was running from the officers trying to get away.” As recently as July 7, officials say Akers jumped into the East Nishnabotna River fleeing from officers investigating a stolen vehicle. Sheriff Updegrove is glad to see his longtime adversary behind bars. “This is all he does,” the sheriff explains. “He does drugs, he doesn’t work a fulltime job, he runs from the cops, he’s always manipulating, stealing. Practice makes perfect.” Akers also had a reputation for escaping, as well as eluding. The sheriff says in 2002 when Akers was sent to the Oakdale Reception Station for violating probation, he escaped. This time around, Updegrove says local officers have done all they can. He had ankle bracelets, a waist-belly chain and handcuffs, and they delivered him to the new Pottawatamie County jail with its maximum security. “That’s where he’s going to stay,” the sheriff says, “and every time we take him out, we’re going to put the ‘bling-bling’ on his ankles and wrists.” There’s a long list of charges likely to keep him in that jail for some time. Pottawattamie County had warrants for Akers’ arrest for OWI and possession of methamphetamine, and when they caught up with him he was driving a truck allegedly stolen over the weekend at an Omaha construction site. That’s second-degree theft, a felony, and the sheriff says there were also warrants out for Akers in Red Oak. A tip this week finally brought officers to a house in Henderson where Akers was arrested without incident.
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