PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. -- What started as an early morning auto theft turned into extended and wild police chase of a stolen FedEx truck on Wednesday evening. Police were finally able to stop and subdue the driver at 71st Terrace and Belinder, but not after multiple failed stops.
According to KCPD, a FedEx driver was fueling her company truck at a Shell Station located on 8801 NE Birmingham Road at about 8:45 a.m. The driver left the keys in the vehicle when she went inside the station and came out to find the truck had been stolen.
A witness at the gas station observed the suspect to be a white male in his early 20s. She thought he was acting suspiciously and kept an eye on him, but didn't stop him when he got into the truck and drove away.
Police initially canvassed the area with negative results and didn't find it until about 4:30 p.m. when the truck was spotted on Bannister Road. That triggered an extended chase where at one point the suspected driver traveled the wrong way down Ward Parkway.
The vehicle was finally brought it to a stop using spike strips as the suspect drove in a residential neighborhood in Prairie Village shortly after 5 p.m. FedEx expressed thanks to law enforcement for recovering the truck, which was still filled with boxes needing to be shipped.
"We are grateful for local law enforcement and their efforts in helping us retrieve it (FedEx truck). We are cooperating fully with the authorities, but, as the investigation remains ongoing, we have no other information to share," FedEx spokeswoman Allison Houser stated in a release.
FOX 4 followed along with the co-owner of the route as they were busy late into Wednesday night delivering packages that should have been delivered much earlier. A 19-year-old was taken into custody as the suspected driver. The investigation is still ongoing and if anyone has information about the incident, call the TIPS at (816) 474-TIPS.