Stealing heavy machinery and leading police on low-speed chases is starting to become a trend we hate to see. It happened again, this time in Painesville Township, Ohio with Lake County Sheriff’s Office chasing a suspect who swiped a wheel loader.
An official press release from the sheriff’s office says deputies were dispatched after a call came in at 5:17 am on January 20 about a suspicious person at the Lake County Engineers Office. As deputies rushed to the scene, the person calling said the suspect climbed into a Case 721D wheel loader and started driving away.
While a wheel loader isn’t exactly fast like a race car, stopping one if police don’t have a BearCat on the scene is difficult if not impossible. Still, deputies chased down the piece of heavy equipment as it trundled down State Route 44. Their attempt to stop it was unsurprisingly ineffective.
From there it was a blistering pursuit averaging about 10 mph. Seriously, we could run that fast. Soon, a local police department joined in the chase. They tried using spike strips to deflate the tires, which we don’t know why anyone would think that would work on a vehicle designed to drive in construction sites where sharp objects can be scattered everywhere, and the spike strips of course couldn’t penetrate the thick tire compound.
When the suspect turned the wheel loader into an elementary school we’re sure the cops were anticipating the worst. But thankfully the unnamed 54-year-old male suspect decided that was the time to turn off the machine and climb out, surrendering to authorities.
Absolutely nothing has been said about a motive. It’s possible this man was suffering some sort of mental health episode, but so far authorities are remaining tight-lipped about that or any other hints about why the guy would steal a piece of heavy machinery, then suddenly give up.
Image via Lake County Sheriff’s Office