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LINCOLNTON, N.C. A Lincoln County homeowner is being credited with helping nab a man who police say was breaking into a home on Tuesday afternoon.

The homeowner arrived to find several men in his driveway near his burgundy van and called 911 to report the alleged crime.

The men then jumped into one car and fled the home while a second man, identified by the Lincoln County Sheriff s Office as 23-year-old Jamen Lee Cowan of Newton, stole the homeowner s van.

Another person helped track the van as it traveled Gaston-Webbs Chapel Road then making its way onto Gastonia Highway, said Lincoln County Sheriff David Carpenter in a statement. As deputies tried to catch up with the vehicle as it traveled north toward Lincolnton, one of the tires went flat and the van was traveling on its rim with sparks flying when the vehicle crashed on the side of the road near the Southside Church Road intersection.

Cowan allegedly jumped from the van and ran but was found behind a building by deputies.

Cowan was charged with felony breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, receiving stolen property, possession of a firearm by a felon and larceny of a motor vehicle. After taking the van, officials said they charged him with careless and reckless driving and driving without an operator s license as well.

He was placed behind bars on a $35,000 bond.

Police are still trying to locate the silver Ford Focus and the men also involved in the alleged incident. Additional charges are pending, officials said.

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