IMPERIAL, Mo. (KMOV.com) - Charges are pending against a 30-year old man accused of stealing a pickup from a driveway at the South Woods Mobile Home Park in Imperial and then crashing it a half mile away along Highway 61/67.
According to witnesses, the thief was naked during the ordeal.
"That's the craziest thing I've ever heard in my life," said Gerald McCauley, who knows the pickup owner.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect had been visiting someone at the mobile home park. McCauley said his neighbor saw the man shortly before the theft.
"She sees a gentleman walking up the street. She sees his head and the she sees he's not wearing a shirt, and then she sees he's not wearing anything. And he said ‘good morning’ to her and just kept walking, " said McCauley.
Sheriff's officials said the thief stole a pickup that had been left running in a driveway. Apparently, the owner forgot his cellphone and had gone back inside his home to get it when the thief drove off with the car.
Another neighbor told News 4 the pickup was a 1988 Chevrolet Silverado that belonged to the victim’s late wife. He said the pickup was well cared for and was in very good condition.
Investigators said the stolen pickup was driven against traffic on Highway 61/67 and clipped two vehicles. One of them went off the road and drove into Ron Thompson’s yard.
"I heard the boom. I actually had my window open because it was nice, and I was standing in the bathroom and I heard the wreck. I looked out the window and that's when I saw the car busting through the woods," said Thompson.
Neither of the drivers in the cars that were struck was hurt. But the stolen vehicle went off the road, overturned and landed on it’s top in a thicket of trees and bushes. Thompson ran to the smashed pickup to help.
“I looked down and it was actually on fire and the guy was laying there with no clothes on," said Thompson.
The naked thief survived the crash and was treated at a local hospital. He was later released by sheriff’s officials while prosecutors decide which charges to file.