The scenario is getting almost routine.
A stolen vehicle shows up in Stillwater County. Law enforcement responds, a pursuit ensues and, fortunately, the suspects are caught.
On Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 7:10 p.m., dispatch received a 911 theft-in-progress call from a Laurel woman who spotted her husband’s work truck being stolen and was following the truck, according to Stillwater County Dispatch reports.
The woman reported losing sight of the truck South Park City Road.
Stillwater County Sheriff’s Sgt. Randy Smith met the woman at the Park City Zip Trip. Around the same time, the truck passed MHP Trooper Wade Palin at the intersection of South Park City Road and Sportsman’s Park Road, travelling at 87 mph. Palin began pursuing the truck, which ran a stop sign on Pope Road, heading eastbound on Highway 10 towards Laurel at high speeds, said Palin.
Palin lost site of the truck north of Laurel and the pursuit was terminated.
“I relocated the vehicle on Wise Lane and South Frontage Road. The vehicle was driving erratic and at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was spiked and lost both passenger tires,” said Palin Wednesday morning. “The vehicle continued to the roundabout at Shiloh Road and Monad Road, where it lost control while attempting to negotiate the roundabout. The driver fled on foot and myself and a sergeant with MHP pursued.”
Palin said a Taser was deployed “with no affect” and both the driver and passenger where arrested. The driver has been identified as Seth James Todd, 24, who was jailed on felony charges of criminal endangerment, motor vehicle theft and misdemeanor counts of fleeing or eluding a peace officer, a second offense of DUI and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the Yellowstone County Detention Facility.
The passenger has been identified as Jeremiah Mark Reichert, 24. He is jailed on a felony probation violation as well as resisting arrest and unsworn falsification to authorities.
Palin said the truck had been left idling when it was stolen. Yellowstone County authorities will handle the case.
GROWING ISSUE OF STOLEN VEHICLES
In late November 2017, Stillwater County Undersheriff Chip Kem wrote a letter-the-editor, urging residents to be mindful of leaving running vehicles unattended. At that time, over the course of less than two weeks, authorities had recovered four stolen vehicles, three stolen trailers and three sets of stolen license plates in six separate incidents. Of those incidents, one involved a vehicle and foot pursuit in Columbus that prompted a brief lock-down of the schools.
Since that time, there have at least two other vehicles that were recovered by local lawmen in Stillwater County.
“There was also at least one trailer stolen from Stillwater County that was recovered in Big Timber,” said Kem this week.