Two Centralia men arrested for burglary after hours long manhunt

MARION COUNTY — Two Centralia men are in the Marion County Jail for alleged burglary after eluding deputies for several hours Thursday.

According to reports, 28-year-old Eric Thompson, and 25-year-old Nathan Hale were attempting to remove a motorcycle from the shed of a vacant home on U.S. 51 in rural Patoka when the homeowner’s son Brady Lewis drove by and noticed the activity.

Lewis reportedly stopped at the home and confronted Thompson and Hale, then grabbed the keys out of their vehicle and left, telling them the police would be on their way. He then called 911.

Shortly after that call, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a female who was with Thompson and Hale, reporting the theft of the keys.

By the time deputies arrived at the scene, the two men who were later identified as Thompson and Hale had fled the scene on foot. The female was still with the car and was released without charge.

Law enforcement with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Sandoval and Odin police departments, and the Illinois State Police searched for the two men but ultimately lost the track.

A few hours’ later and nearly a mile from the initial incident, residents on Ferrydale Road contacted the sheriff’s office to report two men had shown up separately at their home asking to use the phone. Both times the residents allowed the suspect to use one phone while the resident used another to contact the sheriff’s office.

Thompson was apprehended as he was getting into a vehicle driven by someone he had apparently called for a ride.

Hale was apprehended a short time later when deputies found him walking near the Ferrydale Road home.

Lewis reportedly told deputies the motorcycle had been moved to the vacant house in an attempt to steal it.