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CLEARFIELD — He stole what? A 38-year old man from Providence is under arrest after allegedly leading authorities on a low-speed chase Monday through Davis County in a stolen front-end loader.
Clearfield Police responded to a report of a stolen front-end loader from a road construction site at 500 West and 200 South. The operator told police that he had gotten out of the vehicle to remove some debris from the roadway. As he did, the suspect entered the vehicle and drove away.
The suspect drove into the Freeport Center industrial park knocking down security fences and gates along the way. Officers quickly located the vehicle, but attempts to stop the suspect were unsuccessful.
Eventually, both the police chief and assistant police chief became involved in the pursuit.
The suspect evaded officers by driving through wooded fields and along a walking trail between 200 South and 700 South, all the while, driving through and over fences and closed gates at speeds that never exceeded 20 mph.
"What was going through my mind is 'How do we stop this equipment safely?' And the danger it poses to the public, said Lt. Adam Malan of the Clearfield Police.
The pursuit lasted about 15 minutes before the vehicle drove off a 6-foot embankment and became lodged on a fence. The suspect fled on foot, but was quickly apprehended without incident.
"I thought maybe it rolled, and once we came up on it a little closer, we noticed that it just hung up on a large fence in this gated area of Freeport Center," Malan said.
Officers identified the suspect as Caseton Burruss. A motive for the crime is still unclear. The case is still under investigation.
Police said Burress was was calm and he even joked about his arrest. He said if police had waited a few seconds longer, he could have busted through another fence and then they wouldn't have to wait for Freeport security to let them all out.
Police say the front-end loader damaged the fence, some gates, railroad tracks and some of the city's walking trail. The loader itself saw damage. It's valued between $150,000 and $180,000.
In addition to the theft of the front-end loader, investigators discovered that Burruss had stolen a car from a Layton car dealership earlier in the day. When the car ran out of gas, he stole another car from a Clearfield residence.
He reportedly crashed the second car into a dirt embankment before stealing the front-end loader.
Burruss was charged with three counts of felony auto theft, felony evading, two counts of leaving the scene of an accident, three counts of criminal mischief and trespassing. He was booked into the Davis County Jail.