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'He stole a street sweeper!': Police chase street sweeper bandit through streets of Richmond

Posted at 12:02 AM, Nov 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 12:39:09-05

RICHMOND — It was quite the pursuit for officers in Richmond over the weekend when they chased down a driver in a stolen street sweeper.

The incident happened just before 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning when officers responded to the 900 block of Butler Street to a person driving a piece of heavy machinery recklessly.

It was reported the driver struck other vehicles, though officers didn't locate any that were damaged, and the driver was also reported to be swerving at people like they were trying to hit them and driving through people's yards.

David Carpenter and Austin Stegner shared videos of the chase on Facebook. (Editor's note: The first video includes profanity. Viewer discretion is advised.)

According to the Richmond Police Department's Facebook page, officers located and began following the heavy machinery, which was identified as a street sweeper, which was stolen from a construction company that was working on Sim Hodgin Parkway in Richmond.

Officers pursued the street sweeper for just over an hour as the driver drove through the city. At one point, the driver struck a garage, causing it to partially collapse, and the driver almost flipped the sweeper over when it struck the garage.

The pursuit ended when the driver went into a river in the street sweeper while in the gorge near Veterans Memorial Park. The sweeper became disabled at that point, so the driver attempted to run away before he was apprehended by police.

The driver was taken to Reid Health for injuries to their arm, as well as other facial injuries during a struggle with officers where they remained for treatment and observation.

Multiple charges against the driver will be requested, including vehicle theft, resisting law enforcement, leaving the scene of an accident and reckless driving.