The driver of a stolen truck remains at large after fleeing from a trooper with the Wapakoneta Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) early Saturday morning near Hume Road.
OSHP Wapakoneta Post Commander Lt. Scott Carrico said the trooper attempted to stop the 2007 white Chevrolet truck for a marked lanes violation on at 1:43 a.m. Saturday while traveling north on Interstate 75.
“The driver slowed down as if to stop then got back on the Interstate,” Carrico said.
The vehicle then drove through a right-of-way fence into a field at the dead end of Hume Road.
“It drove a good distance through the field before getting stuck in the
mud,” Carrico said.
According to a report from the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office, the truck was found stuck in the mud with the driver’s door open.
Any occupants of the vehicle exited the truck before troopers were able to make contact. The driver fled on foot, south toward Auglaize County.
The area was searched for more than four hours, including night vision from the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office and aerial support from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The Allen County Sheriff’s Office performed a K-9 track of the area. Structures were checked and contact made with residents during the search, but the motorist and any other possible suspects were never located, Carrico said.
The scene was cleared at 6:10 a.m. Saturday.
The truck being driven had been reported stolen from Elida around Nov. 24.
It was full of car batteries, a number of which is not yet known. Heavy duty bolt cutters also were found inside the vehicle, according to a report.
“As of right now, we believe the batteries were stolen, but we have no idea where they were stolen from,” Carrico said.
He said they have checked with local businesses, but no such reports have been made in Auglaize or adjacent counties.
“We have no description of the driver and no idea who it was or even the number of people inside the truck,” Carrico said. “We think there was only one person but because of the way the batteries were stacked up and tinted windows you couldn’t see into the truck.”