Video: Police arrest forklift thief after slow-speed pursuit

Police are still investigating the incident, as officers aren’t sure how the suspect obtained the forklift

By Ishani Desai
The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Police pursued a man who took a forklift for a midnight ride Sunday around East Sacramento and eventually arrested him after the industrial equipment crashed through and dragged away a gate on a bike trail.

Officers saw the 47-year-old man cruising in a forklift on Fair Oaks Boulevard and attempted to stop him to no avail, the Sacramento Police Department said Monday morning. Officers told dispatchers speeds during the pursuit reached 11 mph as the forklift made its way westbound over the Tara O’Sullivan Bridge.

The suspect eventually steered the Komatsu machinery through River Park neighborhood streets, then southeast past Sacramento State and onto a College/Glen bike trail before crashing through a gate near Glenn Hall Park, police said. The man kept driving with the gate toward the Howe River Access Point where he eventually stopped and surrendered to officers who chased him on foot, according to dispatch audio during the pursuit.

The chase lasted about 35 minutes, based on dispatch audio.

Police are still investigating the incident — officers aren’t sure how the suspect obtained the forklift. The location where the forklift chase started was at a Campus Commons construction site on Fair Oaks Boulevard and Howe Avenue.

Still, the man was arrested on suspicion of evading and resisting arrest, as well as vandalism, police said.

According to jail records, he was released Monday morning. An arraignment for the case was not immediately known, but court records showed the man failed to appear for an unrelated misdemeanor case on Oct. 16.

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