What do you do if you see a thief driving away with your truck?
If you're this Maplewood resident, you chase the vehicle on foot -- and jump inside.
Such was the case with a theft-turned-wild-ride yesterday, in which a robbery victim at the Maplewood Commons shopping center went on what sounds like a horrible drive with a young man trying to steal his car, police say.
"It was a very dangerous situation for the victim," Maplewood Police Sgt. Matt Nighbor tells Daily RFT. "He was shaken up."
Did the victim get his truck back?
Nope -- but he did sustain some minor injuries.
At around 12:20 p.m. yesterday, an unknown suspect, believed to be about age 22, stole a maroon Sierra extended cab from the shopping center parking lot while the unnamed victim was still inside a store, police say.
But he was apparently close behind.
When the victim exited the business and walked toward the vehicle, he noticed this truck leaving the lot.
So he began chasing the vehicle on foot as it reportedly circled the parking lot.
"When the vehicle stopped, the victim jumped into the bed of his stolen vehicle," police say.
The suspect began driving north on Hanley Road and then east on Highway 40. The victim, in an attempted effort to get the suspect to stop driving, broke out the back window of his truck, but the suspect continued on Highway 40 "at high rates of speed creating a dangerous situation to the victim trapped in the bed of the vehicle."
Eventually, the suspect slowed down and stopped on the shoulder of eastbound Highway 40; at this point, the suspect allegedly exited the vehicle and the victim got out of the back of the truck.
Continue for more on yesterday's theft and the full news report.
"The victim was then assaulted by the suspect wherein the victim sustained minor injuries," police say.
At this point, the suspect managed to get back into the victim's vehicle and drove off.
Nighbor tells us that the injuries didn't require him to go to the hospital yesterday and that as of this morning, police have still not recovered the vehicle or apprehended a suspect.
The victim is described the suspect as a "light skin African American male approximately 22 years of age, about 5'7"-5'8", weighing 140 lbs -- 150 lbs, with short dark hair in braids with no facial hair." He was last seen wearing a black t-shirt and blue jeans.
The vehicle is a 1992 GMC Sierra extended cab with MO Plate 1HN-375. It's maroon with white front fenders and white front doors. The hood of the vehicle is a darker burgundy color than the rest of the truck. The rear sliding glass window is broken out.
Here's another image police sent out as an example.
Here's the police alert.
RE: Stolen Vehicle Date: March 7th, 2013
On March 7th at approximately 1220 hrs at the Maplewood Commons shopping center, a vehicle was stolen from the parking lot while the victim was shopping at the business.
Upon the victim exiting the business and walking toward his vehicle, the victim noticed his vehicle exiting the parking lot. The victim began chasing his vehicle on foot as it circled the parking lot. When the vehicle stopped, the victim jumped into the bed of his stolen vehicle.
The suspect began driving north on Hanley road and then east on Hwy 40. The victim broke out the back window of his truck in attempted efforts to have the suspect stop the vehicle. The suspect proceeded east on Highway 40 at high rates of speed creating a dangerous situation to the victim trapped in the bed of the vehicle. The suspect slowed the vehicle and stopped on the shoulder of eastbound Hwy 40. The suspect exited the vehicle at which time the victim exited the bed of the truck. The victim was then assaulted by the suspect wherein the victim sustained minor injuries. The suspect then re-entered the victim's vehicle and fled east on Hwy 40.
The victim described the suspect as a light skin African American male approximately 22 years of age, about 5'7"-5'8", weighing 140 lbs - 150 lbs, with short dark hair in braids with no facial hair. The suspect was last seen wearing a black t-shirt and blue jeans.
At this time, we are searching for a 1992 GMC Sierra extended cab with MO Plate 1HN-375 (the vehicle has been entered as stolen) . The vehicle is maroon in color with the front fenders and part of the front doors white. The hood of the vehicle is a darker burgundy color than the rest of the truck. The rear sliding glass window is broken out. (example photo on page 2).
If anyone has any information, please contact the Maplewood Detective Bureau at 314-646-3621 or 314-645-3000. The anonymous tip line is 314-781-3733.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.