truck on freeway

It was late in the morning April 25, and a construction crew was working on a house in DeBary. One of them, a tall 52-year-old fellow, “suddenly stopped working and left towards the back of the residence where [the company’s work truck] was parked.”

The other workers “heard the truck start up and watched as it left the site at a high rate of speed.” The others tried to stop the vehicle, but the Truck Taker “simply drove around them in the grass.”

Meanwhile, two Volusia County sheriff’s deputies were nearby, monitoring the speeds of passing vehicles, when they saw the stolen work truck coming at them “at 66 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone.”

Then Truck Taker took the purloined vehicle into a 45 mph zone and accelerated to 90 miles an hour.

He went onto Interstate 4 for a short distance, then drove onto State Road 472. Before deputies could conduct a traffic stop on the truck, Truck Taker pulled onto the shoulder of the road and stopped, “put[ting] his hands out of the window” in an apparent sign of surrender.

After he was read his constitutional rights, Truck Taker admitted to “borrow[ing]” the vehicle and said he had a “drug problem.” He said he “was feeling sick so he needed to get home.”

A criminal-records check showed Truck-and-Drug Taker was “currently on felony probation out of Lake County.” Furthermore, his driver’s license had been suspended in September 2020.

When deputies searched the stolen vehicle, they found “various drug paraphernalia in the passenger side door to include a straw with white residue on it and a glass smoking device with a burnt green leafy [sic] inside.” A test on the straw indicated “a presumptive positive result for the presence of morphine.” Truck-and-Drug Taker admitted that the contraband was his.

He was charged with grand theft motor vehicle, possession of narcotic paraphernalia, and reckless driving.

Truck-and-Drug Taker has apparently been making bad choices for quite a while, and he made an even worse choice when he stole the truck.

Next time, call an Uber!

— By Keith Allen, based on local police-agency reports. If you have information about a crime, call Crime Stoppers, 1-888-277-TIPS. You could be eligible for a reward. Did you miss an “Off the Beat” column? Find the online archive on our website at www.


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