Del. man is charged with stealing his own car

Smith
Smith
Posted: September 18, 2012

A DELAWARE MAN used a front-end loader to steal his pickup truck from a repair shop, then led police on a 35-minute chase that ended when he drove into a pond, according to police.

About 12:30 a.m. Friday, the owner of the Stop-N-Go repair shop on Christiana Road in New Castle, Del., reported to Delaware State Police that his fence had been torn down and that a 1999 Chevy pickup truck was missing.

Upon viewing surveillance tapes, police saw someone in a front-end loader use the device to lift the pickup truck and drive away with it, State Police said.

The shop owner called the owner of the stolen truck, Donald Smith II, of Bear, who freely admitted that he was the one who stole it, police said.

According to authorities, the repair shop had refused to return the truck to Smith, 30, because he had not paid for work done to it.

About 1:15 a.m., Smith was spotted driving the front-end loader with the truck on it in the parking lot of Pockets Restaurant on DuPont Highway, police said.

Smith refused to stop for officers and instead led them on a 35-minute pursuit the wrong way down a highway, through a housing development and then a cornfield, according to police.

At one point, Smith accidentally drove the vehicle into a retention pond, police said. He got out of the front-end loader and swam to safety, where he was arrested by State Police.

He was charged with theft, trespass and related offenses, and was released after posting $5,750 bail.


Contact Stephanie Farr at farrs@phillynews.com or 215-854-4225. Follow her on Twitter @FarFarrAway. Read her blog at philly.com/dailydelco.

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