Accused truck thief a formerly convicted murderer, police say

James Noel

James Noel

O’FALLON, MO (KPLR) – The O’Fallon, Missouri suspected of stealing a new truck during a test drive from a local dealership and leading police on a two-county chase is also a convicted murderer.

James Noel, 46, is facing several charges related to this car theft, including three counts of assault or attempted assault on a law enforcement officer.

According to investigators, Noel was test driving a new Ford F-150 around 10 a.m. Tuesday when he ordered the salesperson out of the truck and took off.

Two St. Ann police detectives who were in the area saw the truck. They tried to pull Noel over but he allegedly sped off, which launched a chase involving St. Ann detectives, St. Charles City police, and St. Charles County police. The chase went over the Blanchette Bridge.

Investigators said Noel struck two police cruisers and sideswiped two civilian vehicles before getting stuck in traffic on Lindbergh and Interstate 70 in St. Ann. Noel allegedly got out of the truck and resisted arrest. He was then Tasered and taken into custody.

St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jimenez said chasing Noel was the right thing to do.

“We were not stopping, 100 percent we’re not stopping. He carjacked a vehicle and put peoples’ lives in danger. We have to make a stand,” Jimenez said.

A St. Ann police captain suffered back and shoulder injuries when Noel hit his cruiser.

In 1990, Noel pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in St. Louis County and served 24 years in prison.