Man Steals Schneider National Big Rig During Wild Multi-County Police Chase
Tooele County, UT – A man is in custody following a multi-vehicle, multi-county high speed chase over the weekend in Utah, which involved a stolen big rig.
According to multiple local outlets, the incident unfolded during the afternoon hours on Saturday, September 19 in Tooele County.
Around 1 p.m., a Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) trooper initiated a traffic stop of a black Cadillac Escalade, which was traveling at a high rate of speed eastbound on I-80 around mile marker 53.
When the officer ran the license plates, he discovered the plates were stole, KSL.com reported.
Upon the discovery of the stolen plates, the officer called for backup.
However, before backup could arrive, two passengers in the SUV exited the vehicle and began fleeing on foot.
The Cadillac’s driver then fled the scene in the vehicle.
UHP Trooper and spokesperson Mikki Vargas told KSL.com the officer who initiated the traffic stop “focused on the running passengers,” as backup pursued the Escalade on I-80.
According to Trooper Vargas, authorities “lost track” of the Escalade “a couple of times,” but officials placed spikes once it was relocated.
However, UHP asserts the driver of the SUV “realized what was happening and drove the wrong direction down an on-ramp,” which prompted officials to terminate the pursuit.
A short time later, Trooper Vargas said, officials received a call from a Walmart distribution center in Grantsville, which stated a semi-truck and trailer had been stolen from its facility.
Authorities determined the individual who stole the big rig was the driver of the Escalade.
UHP shifted its focus to the tractor-trailer which is owned by Schneider National.
The grey Freightliner and recognizable orange trailer re-entered I-80 eastbound at mile marker 84, UHP Sgt. Nick Swallow told the Gephardt Daily.
“From there, he continued to go eastbound as we were setting up for spikes,” Swallow explained. “He turned and crossed the median and went wrong-way, going eastbound in the westbound lanes with oncoming traffic.”
Officers quickly began setting up spikes in the westbound lanes, but Swallow said the driver took notice of UHP’s actions.
“When he saw us do that, he came back across the freeway, and came back going eastbound in eastbound lanes. We tried several times to get him spiked, he swerved at more than one officer, trying to hit the officers,” Swallow stated.
The Schneider truck entered Highway 201, where additional attempts to stop it with spikes were executed.
Thankfully, Swallow said, two of the attempts were successful and disabled the driver’s side steer tire.
The truck came to rest in Magna, at the intersection of Hwy. 201 and 9180 West Street, where “several agencies” were present.
“It was a felony stop at gunpoint,” Swallow said.
The suspect — whose identity has not been released — was taken into custody without further incident.
The two passengers of the SUV who fled the scene on I-80 were eventually apprehended as well, but their identities have also not been released by authorities.
“It’s a lot harder to stop a semi, that’s for sure,” Swallow said of the stop. “Law enforcement is all about working as a team and having a game plan, and weighing all the options.”