SEATTLE - A FedEx truck that Bellevue police say was stolen led authorities on a wild chase across I-90. The truck had its rear doors open and littered the road with packages. Eyewitnesses saw the end of the chase and the suspect’s arrest.
Bellevue police say the FedEx truck was stolen near the intersection of NE 6th Street and Bellevue Way, between Lincoln Square and the Bellevue Square mall. The keys were in the ignition so the thief jumped in and drove off with the rear door open, which caused packages to spillall over the roadways, including Interstate 90.
Brian Hollar works in Seattle near the Colman Dock as a pedicab driver and saw the police arrest the suspect. “Looked like he was trying to get away but as soon as he realized his situation he put his hands up in the air [and] they ordered him to the ground,” Hollar said.
In video obtained by KIRO 7, Seattle police appear to surround the man who seems to not be wearing shoes. The chase may have started in Bellevue, but ended in Seattle, where the suspect barreled through very busy streets near Pioneer Square around 2 p.m. according to witnesses. He then headed for Colman Dock where Hollar sat and watched motorcycle officers and SUVs chase after the truck. “The FedExtruck came through here with the back door open. It was obvious something was wrong,” Hollar said.
David Doxtater works in Seattle and lives on Bainbridge Island. He was in town and walking the streets Friday afternoon when he saw the truck. "[I] was on 4th and 2nd and it came blasting by me and then it looked like something out of a movie,” Doxater said.
Doxtater said the truck drove against the flow of traffic and cars veered out of the way. Police said the suspect drove through a construction zone, nearly hitting two workers, “I just thought, 'Man I'm glad I didn't get hit!' That thing just came flying at me, just veered hard and went over three lanes,” Doxater said.
A motorcycle officer chased the truck down while the back door was open. Seth Tyler, public information officer for Bellevue police, said they would interview the suspect and it was not clear why he would have taken the truck. “This is right out of ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and we're fortunate that there were no serious injuries and the suspect is in custody,” Tyler said.
FedEx said it was aware of the incident and is cooperating with authorities but only gave its phone number and website for people to track packages; it gave no information about what would happen with packages that were tossed out of the truck and maybe lost. Hollar said the chase ended dramatically but the packages were still a concern even for police. “I didn't see any packages fly out but I did see a couple of cop cars pull up with packages to give back to the truck driver.”
FedEx did say that any customers with concerns could track their shipments and packages on http://fedex.com or call 1-800-GO-FEDEX. The company statement did not say anything about packages that were lost or damaged as a result of the incident.
Bellevue police said if anyone in the public sees a package on the road that looks like it fell off of a truck, it probably did -- so they want a call so they can return the packages to FedEx.
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