Blood-covered man steals ODOT truck in Milwaukie

Police and K9 units are searching the area

A suspect stole an ODOT truck before crashing it, June 28, 2017. (KOIN)
A suspect stole an ODOT truck before crashing it, June 28, 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A suspect stole an Oregon Department of Transportation truck Wednesday morning, leading police on a short pursuit before crashing in Northeast Portland.

Police said a man covered in blood stole an ODOT truck from a maintenance yard in Milwaukie.

According to neighbors, the incident started when an unknown man broke into an empty rental home around 10 a.m. When police arrived, the suspect  ran away and stopped at a maintenance yard about 1 mile away.

Tony DiBenedetto, a driver with ODOT, said he saw the suspect in his truck before taking off.

Tony DiBenedetto, a driver with ODOT, had his truck stolen, June 28, 2017. (KOIN)
Tony DiBenedetto, a driver with ODOT, had his truck stolen, June 28, 2017. (KOIN)

“I came out and this guy was in my truck, starting my truck up, and I didn’t know what was going on,” DiBenedetto said.

He also added the maintenance yard is a fenced and locked compound with barbed wire, so drivers sometimes leave their keys in their trucks.

According to DiBenedetto, the suspect was bloody and wasted no time getting out of the lot.

“He looked at me, glared at me and took off like a bat out of hell,” DiBenedetto said.

A tracking device in the truck helped police locate the vehicle, which ended up in Northeast Portland.

The suspect crashed the truck in the front yard of a home in the Hollywood neighborhood and then took off running.

Police immediately blocked off the neighborhood and searched the area with K9 units, but the man has not yet been found.

Fortunately, the damage from the incident was limited.

DiBenedetto said, “It turns out the truck isn’t damaged, I didn’t get hurt and I just got my heart rate up.”