Police chase stolen doughnut truck
It sounds like a scene out of "Wayne's World" or "Tommy Boy," but police chased a doughnut delivery truck across Benton and Tama counties Thursday at speeds of up to 100 mph after the vehicle was reported stolen in Rock Island, Ill.
Sure enough, the nine police officers from four jurisdictions caught up with the doughnuts in the parking lot of a Hardee's restaurant in Toledo. There they arrested Frank Arthur Alvarado, 46, of Moline, Ill. Police said the truck had been stolen from Trinity Medical Hospital-West in Rock Island, where Alvarado was a patient.
But Tama County Sheriff Dennis Kucera said that because the vehicle was unmarked, his officers had no idea they were chasing a doughnut truck and didn't see the humor in the incident.
"We handled it like any situation where the person refused to get out of the vehicle," Kucera said. "I was concerned for my officers' safety because we didn't know whether the driver was armed or not."
The matter began when doughnut truck driver Ryan Albright arrived at Trinity Medical Hospital-West, one of his 45 early-morning stops. As usual, he left the truck engine running while he delivered the pastries, to avoid engine wear and tear from the constant turning off and on.
Police say Alvarado, perhaps motivated by hunger or simply the desire to get out of the hospital before his release, ran from nearby bushes where he was hiding, commandeered the doughnut truck, and sped westward toward Iowa.
"We looked at the security cameras and saw that there was somebody in the bushes," said Tammy Brozovich, general manager of Donut Delite. "He jumped in the van and took off."
Law enforcement didn't catch up with the truck until it reached Benton County on U.S. Highway 30.
Eventually, nine officers joined the chase westward into Tama County, 135 miles from where the truck had been stolen. A Tama County deputy sheriff stopped the truck by ramming into it in the Toledo Hardee's parking lot at the intersection of U.S. highways 30 and 63.
Alvarado was arrested at gunpoint and charged with first-degree theft and numerous driving violations. He is being held at the Tama County Jail in Toledo.
The lawmen got their reward. Brozovich was so grateful to get her truck back that she gave the remaining doughnuts to the police and sheriff's deputies.