The owner of a local asphalt and landscaping company said a man stole one of his dump trucks around 3 a.m. Tuesday and rammed it through a gate in the process of fleeing.
About six hours later, the thief crashed the truck into the back of a tractor-trailer at Third and Lynch streets in downtown St. Louis, according to St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Bruce Fleshren. The man then attempted to flee from St. Louis police, who were able to arrest him. He was taken to Saint Louis University Hospital for treatment of injuries from the crash.
“At this point we are continuing to investigate and determine what charges we will file if any,” Fleshren said.
It’s possible the St. Louis Police Department and St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department will file stolen vehicle and property damage charges, Fleshren said.
The truck was parked in a lot at Sonnenberg Landscaping Materials and Asphalt Co. just east of Frank Scott Parkway and Illinois 161, said owner Kirk Sonnenberg. Surveillance footage showed a person moving around, trying to open doors on other trucks in the lot, Sonnenberg said. It was unclear if the truck was locked.
The thief managed to start the truck and drive it through a locked gate, fleeing the property. Sonnenberg said he would have to replace the gate, which was badly bent. The white and red truck has a dump bed, is numbered “truck 50,” and has the company’s logo on it.
The last time someone stole a truck from the company was in the late 1990s, the owner said. That truck disappeared for months until it showed up in a junk yard in Missouri, Sonnenberg said.
The company has about 35 other trucks, the owner said, so he was not concerned about a slow-down in business. The truck is used for deliveries.
By 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, a post on the company’s Facebook page about the theft had been shared more than 100 times.