FRANKLIN COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV) -- A man is behind bars after law enforcement in five counties say he took them on a wild ride while he was behind the wheel of a stolen truck.
The winter-like weather made pursuing him much more dangerous. An officer in one town was hurt after he crashed his patrol car chasing the suspect. Two deputies in another town got stuck in the snow and mud as their suspect sped away.
The owners of the truck told News 4 they can't believe how far this guy got.
Colby Benson had just spent hundreds fixing up his truck, when someone swiped it from a gas station in Potosí Saturday afternoon.
“I walk into the gas station two minutes, come out truck's gone.”
“In a million years I never would have thought someone would steal my truck, I always leave my keys in it, the truck running, just never would have thought,” said Benson.
Sunday, Benson’s friend spotted it in Potosi. He called police and then followed the truck into De Soto in Jefferson county.
There, an officer got hot on the truck's tail, but the cold caused him to skid to a halt. He hit an icy patch, totaling the patrol car. The officer suffered minor injuries and for a time, the stolen truck got away.
Benson said the only upside: “I was feeling happy my truck was still in one piece, because my thought they had a couple hours they had some torches, my thought was it was in parts.”
Hope for its recovery was renewed Monday.
According to police, stole $200 worth of gas in New Florence and in Hermann. Police there tried to chase him down.
But the driver was undeterred and continued into Franklin and Gasconade counties. Only after officers laid down spike strips did they finally catch their culprit.
Now, Benson wants the man who did it to make amends.
“I'd like to see him pay for the parts, I am going to have to pay for,” he said.
The suspect hasn't been formally charged yet.
According to police, the suspects had previous warrants out for his arrest. He's also reportedly linked to another stolen car found burned earlier in the week and deputies say he took a gun too.
His charges could include assault on a police officer since officers say he put them in harms' way-- fleeing from them despite dangerous conditions out here.