LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — A thief stole two trucks in succession Friday from a downtown business, prompting a high-speed pursuit that was called off when it threatened the safety of public, police said.
A truck was reported stolen about 6 a.m. from a lot near 4th and San Pedro streets, according to the Los Police Department’s Central Traffic Division.
“It is a very interesting story, where he attempts to steal both vehicles,” said Christopher No, an LAPD spokesman. “For what reason? Unknown.”
The thief, described as an African-American man in his 20s, sped along 4th Street in the wrong direction and sheared a traffic light pole. He seemed to intentionally sideswipe several parked vehicles before coming to a stop near the intersection of 7th and Crocker streets and deserting the truck.
“Our traffic unit comes along to take a report, with the owner,” No said. “While he’s taking the report, the owner says: ‘Hey, there goes my other truck; it’s been stolen.'”
Officers pursued the second truck after spotting it near 17th Street and Central Avenue. Within fifteen minutes of the start of the chase, police suspended it out of concern for the safety of motorists and pedestrians in the area, authorities said.
The second truck was later found, abandoned with its doors open, in the 100 block of West Ellis Avenue in Inglewood, police said. Nothing was reported stolen from inside the trucks.
It was believed that the thief may have been a disgruntled former employee of the business who had access to the lot where the trucks were parked.
“He had some kind of master lock or master key that was able to open both vehicles,” No said.
The thief remained at large as of Friday afternoon, police said. He faces several charges if apprehended, including vehicle theft and leaving the site of an accident.
Anyone with information regarding the heists was asked to contact the LAPD.