OROVILLE (CBS13) – Authorities are investigating how and why a man and woman managed to steal a Sacramento Metro Fire truck, leading cops on a two-hour chase through four counties.
With tires blown and its body battered, the stolen fire engine is now part of the evidence in the ongoing investigation. A new one in its place will temporarily keep the community covered in case of fire.
California Highway Patrol says the man was able to hop in the engine, pick up a female companion and lead police pursuers on a 100-mile chase.
“The passenger and the male were taking turns driving, so they were switching drivers while the pursuit was ongoing,” said Sgt. Brian Wittmer with CHP.
The suspects admitted that getting inside wasn’t too difficult.
“The door was wide open. So we thought – Hollywood!” said 29-year-old suspect David Virgil Carcalete. “You want to drive? Take off.”
“And he was just all over the place, and had the mag light hitting stuff,” said 35-year-old suspect Candace Scottard. “It was crazy.”
Metro Fire was on a grass fire call in Rio Linda when the suspect first climbed aboard.
“You wouldn’t expect that,” said Metro Fire Capt. Chris Vestal.
Per protocol, the engine was powered up with lights on for use and safety purposes as firefighters focused on putting out flames.
“We had people in the area of where the engine was,” Vestal said.
The chase eventually ended north of Oroville.
Fortunately, no one seriously hurt in the chase – although Briana Johnson’s SUV was clipped by the engine as she drove with her kids near Roseville.
“I’m just glad that it’s all cosmetic and that everybody’s fine,” Johnson said.
CHP believes the two suspects were under the influence of drugs at the time.