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October 30th, 2020

ohp patchROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times


Police officers in Pratt searching for a vehicle stolen during a home invasion in Wichita led them to a suspicious vehicle parked behind a commercial building in east Pratt during the early morning hours of Oct. 11 and 12.

That suspicious vehicle devolved into the pursuit of a stolen fuel truck, owned by Skyland Grain, left at a truck parts place for repair, and that chase eventually went through parts of Southwest Kansas and the Oklahoma Panhandle.

A release from the Pratt Police Department said the operator of the fuel truck rammed the pursuing police vehicle rendering it inoperable. The officer driving the car was uninjured.

A secondary police unit continued the pursuit, following the fuel truck to a motel, and the release said as the officer followed, the fuel truck driver jumped from the moving vehicle into the dark. 

“The unoccupied fuel truck then crashed into a car belonging to an American Inn guest, pushing it into the building, causing significant damage,” the release said. 

The release went on to say additional officers were called out and responded to take control of the scene at the motel so the on-duty police could continue their search for the fuel truck drive and await a tow truck for the wrecked vehicle.

“It was later determined that the fuel truck had been stolen from Southwest Truck Parts,” the release said.

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Later, the report said, officers began a search of the area, calling additional officers to assist, and they returned to the original commercial building and found the suspicious vehicle had been hooked onto a trailer.

“On the trailer, officers found the 2015 Audi passenger car stolen during the Wichita home invasion,” the release said.

Officers reportedly were conducting their investigation at the original scene when they observed a wrecker leaving Southwest Truck Parts, and at the time, they believed the wrecker had been sent to recover the stolen fuel truck.

“A short time later, officers learned Southwest Truck Parts had been burglarized, and the service truck stolen,” the release said.

The release added the service truck was last seen westbound on U.S. Highway 54, but later in the day, sheriff’s officers in Meade County were dispatched to another home invasion, this one occurring within their community.

“Responding deputies found that a white male suspect, driving the stolen service truck from Southwest Truck Parts, had burglarized a Meade County home occupied by a single young adult,” the release said. “When confronted, the male suspect fled the scene in the service truck.

The report went on to say Meade County officers and troopers from the Kansas Highway Patrol pursued the service truck south into Oklahoma. 

“Once in Oklahoma, the pursuit was assumed by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Beaver County, Okla., Sheriff’s office,” the release said.

The service truck, the report said, was chased to a rural location near Forgan, Okla., while attempting to ram into other vehicles causing Oklahoma authorities to fire on the service truck to render it in operable.

“Following an hours long stand off, during which additional rounds were fired, the uncooperative driver was taken into custody,” the release said.

It was later determined the pickup and trailer towing the stolen Audi had been reported stolen to the Wichita Police Department on Oct. 9.

“The investigation is ongoing, and a large amount of stolen property recovered,” the release concluded. “At the time of this press release, the suspect’s identity has not been confirmed.”

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