WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The owner of a stolen truck who chased after the car thief and then went along for a high-speed police chase says he would do it all over again.
“When I saw it driving off I figured I’m going to go because I’m going to know exactly where it’s going,” says the truck owner.
The truck owner, who did not want to be identified because of safety concerns, says he was checking out the Atwoods store in Andover around 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday when he saw his truck with a trailer attached and a skid steer on top drive away.
“So I go run outside and I can’t believe this, so I go running after it,” he says.
The man says he left the tool box he was about to purchase behind, jumped into his trailer and then got inside the skid steer.
“He’s swerving around, driving crazy so I climbed up, got up in the machine, put my seat belt on and the lap bar and stuff,” he says. “It got my blood pressure going pretty quick, you know, and I didn’t really give it time to think about it.”
Little did the truck owner know his wild ride was just beginning. As he called 911, he says the person behind the wheel stepped on the gas.
“He left Atwoods and went to the next major intersection to the north of Atwoods and then went west into Wichita,” says Andover Police Cpt. Justin Phillips.
Police say the suspect led them on about a 20-minute chase, at times going more than 90 miles per hour before the driver crashed near Oliver and MacArthur. The truck owner says he wasn’t concerned about his safety as much as he was concerned about the public’s safety and making sure the suspect was caught.
“My main thing was I wanted to tell the cops exactly where we were or where he was,” he says. “I’m a fight or flight kind of guy and I’m a fighter when it comes to that kind of stuff.”
He also says he was extremely impressed with the law enforcement agencies who worked the incident.
“The cops did an awesome job and got it under control,” he says.
The suspect was arrested. The owner of the stolen truck was not injured despite being in the cab of the skid steer during the chase.