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Middletown Transcript
  • Bear man steals own truck; drives into retention pond after police pursuit

  • At 12:30 a.m., Delaware State Police were called to the business for a report of theft of a motor vehicle. The owner of the Stop-N-Go told police that part of the fence surrounding the business was torn down and that a 1999 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck was missing, police said.
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  • A Bear man was arrested Sept. 14 for stealing his own truck, police said.
    Police said that Donald A. Smith, II, 30, stole his truck from the Stop-N-Go off of Christiana Road in New Castle, where it was being repaired.
    At 12:30 a.m., Delaware State Police were called to the business for a report of theft of a motor vehicle. The owner of the Stop-N-Go told police that part of the fence surrounding the business was torn down and that a 1999 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck was missing, police said.
    Surveillance tapes showed that a front-end loader with forklifts attached drove down the side of the property and out of camera view, police said. A few minutes later, the video shows the front-end loader carrying the pickup truck on its forks out of the business complex.
    The storeowner contacted the truck owner to inform him of the incident, but the call went to voice mail, said Master Sgt. Gary E. Fournier, a spokesman for the Delaware State Police. The truck's owner, Smith II, phoned the owner back and told him that he came and retrieved his truck.
    According to police, Smith II explained to the owner how he used his front-end loader to retrieve it.
    "[Smith II] had defaulted on the payment he owed Stop-N-Go for the work they completed on the pickup so the truck was behind held until the payment was received," Fournier said.
    As the investigation continued past 1:15 a.m., a radio call was transmitted for a subject operating a front-end loader in the parking lot of Pockets Restaurant and Tavern on South Dupont Highway.
    Police were informed that the vehicle had entered a heavily wooded area and upon locating it, it began to exit the woods and travel southbound on U.S. Route 13.
    After a 35-minute pursuit, the vehicle traveled through a private driveway and into the Chaddwyck Development before crossing back over U.S. Route 13 and into a cornfield, police said. Troopers discontinued the chase and began to set up a perimeter around the cornfield.
    As police were doing this, the front-end loader was spotted on Buena Vista Drive where it drove down Comino Court.
    Smith II was unaware of the retention pond behind the hones on Camino Court and he drove the loader into the pond where it became disabled, Fournier said.
    The driver escaped from the vehicle and swam to shore where police said they took him into custody without incident.
    Smith II was charged with disregarding a police officer's signal, theft of services, criminal mischief, driving with a suspended license, trespassing and several traffic violations.
    He was arraigned and released after posting $5,750 secured bail.
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