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Man who stole Audi from Lido Shores and found naked in chicken coop sits in NY jail

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

A man accused of stealing a car from a Lido Shores home remains in custody awaiting a court hearing after he was captured near Ithaca New York where he was found hiding naked with an ax in a chicken coop. That was after he killed a family dog, stole an ATV, killed some chickens and evaded police for hours according to authorities.

The bizarre events started, according to police, when Sarasota native John Mehne, 25, stole a 2016 Audi A5 from a home in Lido Shores he broke into earlier in the month. He subsequently drove all the way north to the Ithaca, NY region where he crashed on Interstate 81 North into a guardrail.

The car was discovered by police in the driving lane but facing the wrong direction. Police quickly realized it was reported as stolen out of Sarasota, but Mehne fled as they arrived on scene.

Police reported Mehne had crashed after “driving erratically.” He escaped the scene by jumping on the back of a van but quickly fell off. He then hopped onto a passing pickup truck but the driver pulled over and Mehne fled toward railroad tracks in the woods.

The search for Mehne continued throughout the day until a local resident called police claiming he had found the man in his chicken coop killing his birds.

Police report that when the homeowner asked Mehne what he was doing, he told him he was killing the chickens then picked up an ax and began chasing the resident. Mehne subsequently stole an ATV from that residence on Duell Road and drove off in a westerly direction where troopers later found it abandoned.

Troopers enlisted the help of a K-9 unit for the search.  Not long after, police say they received another 911 call, which led them to find Mehne naked inside of a nearby chicken coop where he was arrested. He was initially treated at Binghamton General Hospital and transported to Broome County Jail with no bail.

After the arrest, police said one resident reported finding his dead family dog and trails of blood throughout his house, which investigators confirmed was the work of Mehne.

Mehne has been charged with the felonies of burglary in the first degree, robbery in the first degree, aggravated cruelty to animals and criminal possession of stolen property, deputies said. On top of that, Mehne has a warrant for his arrest in Sarasota after failing to appear in court in late May for burglary of an unoccupied dwelling.

The hearing for 25-year-old John Mehne ended up being postponed last week after his attorney stated she did not have enough time to discuss Mehne’s warrant out of Florida with him. The warrant stems from a burglary charge in Sarasota in March.

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