Truck theft leads to odd chase

A deputy was able to return a stolen truck to a Freeland man after a short pursuit that was partly in reverse on Goss Lake Road Tuesday, according to court documents.

The alleged truck thief, John D. Spencer, 39, ran into a wooded area and got away from the deputy but was arrested the following day.

A resident reported that his 2017 Ford F-150 pickup was stolen, and he was able to monitor the vehicle’s whereabouts via GPS. A deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area shown on the GPS and immediately located the truck on the shoulder of Goss Lake Road.

The deputy got out of his patrol car and ordered the driver of the truck, later identified as Spencer, to exit the vehicle. Spencer looked back at him but eventually put the truck in gear and left in a hurry, spinning the tires, the deputy wrote in his report.

The deputy got back into his car and pursued the truck, ordering him over the loud speaker to stop. Spencer suddenly slammed on the breaks and the deputy got out with his gun drawn.

Spencer put the truck into reverse and backed up in the wrong lane “in a reckless and fast manner,” the deputy wrote. He stopped after about 100 yards, got out, ran away and jumped over a deer fence.

The deputy ordered Spencer to halt, saying he was making only making things worse. Spencer stopped and briefly got on his knees, but then got back up with something in his hand. The deputy pointed his gun at Spencer and ordered him to drop the unknown item or he could be shot.

Spencer dropped the item and ran into the wooded area. The deputy searched the area for 45 minutes but could not find him. He returned the truck to the owner.

The next day, deputies located Spencer at a friend’s house and arrested him on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and eluding a pursuing police officer.

Spencer appeared in Island County Superior Court and the judge set his bail at $50,000, according to the jail roster.

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