A truck thief bent on escaping law enforcement Friday evening ended up in custody anyway when he rolled his loot on First Street and ran from the crash, only to be shocked by an officer’s Taser minutes later.
Wichita police Sgt. Ron Hunt said the 31-year-old man stole the truck in the 1100 block of South Emporia after its owner left it running outside. The owner called 911 as he chased his truck in another vehicle along I-135, where law enforcement picked up the pursuit at 13th Street.
Hunt said the pursuing officer discontinued the chase “for safety reasons” just moments before the thief exited at First and Second Streets too fast and rolled the truck.
The man ran but was subdued by an officer using a stun gun, Hunt said. The jolt knocked the man down a few steps into a basement access, he said.
Hunt said the 31-year-old was taken to a local hospital for observation. He is expected to be booked on suspicion of auto theft, evading and eluding an officer, and traffic violations.
“We at the police department understand that it’s cold,” Hunt said. “But it’s in the vehicle owner’s best interest – and the public’s as well – to not leave them running.”
He added: “We are extremely lucky that no one got hurt.”