A vehicle pursuit initiated by an Arkansas state trooper that began in Conway County came to an end in Conway around 11:30 p.m. Sunday and resulted in the arrest of a Russellville man accused of stealing a truck belonging to an oil and gas equipment manufacturer.
Workers noticed the truck, a white Ford F-450, was missing after having been parked outside of a Seaboard International Inc. shop, though they initially believed it had been taken by another worker.
An employee reported that a group of coworkers were headed to a job site when they pulled up next to the truck at a stoplight and recognized the driver wasn’t an employee.
The employee told police the driver had the window of the stolen vehicle rolled down and a worker yelled, “Hey, that’s my company’s truck!” to which the driver reportedly responded, “Y’all stole it from me!” before accelerating to speeds around 90 mph on the interstate, headed westbound.
After a call to 9-1-1, a state trooper located the truck and initiated a traffic stop, but when he approached the window, the driver fled the scene.
The pursuit exited Interstate 40 at the 124 exit in Conway with the suspect vehicle being followed by a state trooper, and additional units with the Morrilton and Plumerville Police Departments.
Three Conway police officers joined in the pursuit, which continued down Highway 64 West to the intersection of Old Morrilton Highway and North Donaghey Avenue. The suspect then turned east on Old Morrilton Highway, driving through the parking lot at Hastings and continuing on the Pike Ridge Road. The suspect then headed south through the parking lot at David’s Burgers, before proceeding north on Skyline Drive, turning into the parking lot of Mobile One and then onto Sanders Street, driving southeast.
The suspect turned in to the Super 8 Motel, where he became trapped by officers.
A white male, later identified as Mark Jeffrey Pennington, 45, of Russellville, exited the vehicle. He was forced to the ground and apprehended without incident.
The truck was released to the owner at the scene.
Pennington was placed into the custody of the state trooper and transported to Conway County jail, where he was charged with the theft.
(Megan Reynolds is a staff writer and can be reached by phone at 505-1277 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter @LCDonline.)