DENVER – A woman is in custody after allegedly stealing a pickup truck and trying to elude Denver police Friday morning.
Advanced Traffic Services employee, Dennis Wilkes, told Denver7 that he stopped in at Jenny’s Market at 48th and Federal to put gas in the company truck, then ran in to get some coffee.
“I made the mistake of leaving my keys inside the cup holder,” he said. “Somebody hopped in my truck and took off.”
Officers responded and attempted to pull the vehicle over. When the driver didn't stop, officers began to follow her at a safe distance.
AIRTRACKER7 was overhead as the suspect drove down Federal Boulevard, turning around corners and running through red lights.
She pulled into a parking lot at South Federal and West Evans, abandoned the vehicle in the Burger King drive thru lane, and then ran over to a waiting SUV.
That SUV, a GMC Yukon, then drove past an arriving police officer and pulled out onto Evans.
That’s where it was quickly surrounded by several other police cars.
Officers jumped out with guns drawn, pulled a woman out of the front seat and took her to the ground. They then pulled the suspect out of the back seat and took her to the ground. The suspect was put in restraints, and then placed in a squad car. Police have not released her name.
The driver of the SUV, was also placed in handcuffs.
He and the other passenger told Denver7 that the suspect had called them saying she needed to be picked up at the Burger King, but didn't say anything about stealing a truck.
When asked if there may be other arrests, Denver Police Department spokeswoman Christine Downs said, “That’s part of the investigation. At this time, only one person was taken into custody, that’s the person who allegedly stole the truck this morning.”
Wilkes said he’s glad police found the truck.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I need to get back to work. I’m supposed to be at Berthoud Pass by 7. That’s not going to happen.”
The owner of Advanced Traffic Services, Duran Hill, said he’s so grateful that his company truck was not damaged during the theft, and that no one was injured, that he won’t pursue charges against the suspect.
He said he hopes it’s a learning experience for her.
He also said it’s a teachable moment for all his employees to not leave keys in their vehicles and to not leave them running.