Police haven’t revealed if it was a Kawasaki, Polaris, Yamaha or other type of UTV—all they know is that, despite one thief’s best efforts, apparently a UTV can’t elude or outrun a cruiser for long. In Clarksville, Tennessee, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department told local news crews that when a local terrain vehicle was first reported as stolen, it didn’t make much of a blip on their radar. However, the last thing they expected was a low-speed pursuit in order to catch the criminal.
The first call came in the early afternoon when a resident claimed their recreational vehicle had been stolen. Just 45 minutes later, an anonymous call came in claiming that the UTV was spotted nearby. Deputies Matthew Riels and Ethan Moss responded and discovered the vehicle—being ridden—on a looped road. However, the grand theft UTV criminal wouldn’t stop and instead led the police on a wild goose chase by foot. After winding down a number of roads trying to shake the police, the driver barreled through fences and fields before completely wrecking the machine.
Too Much GTA?
While the popular game Grand Theft Auto is often scapegoated for giving wannabe criminals ideas about what they’re capable of, it’s yet to strongly feature a UTV. The driver has been identified as Jonathan Buckner, who wasn’t injured during the kerfuffle. Both Buckner and the damaged vehicle were released to the Erin Police Department.
According to local police, Buckner has been charged with reckless driving, felony evading arrests and two counts of vandalism for the fences. His bail was set at $30,000, and it’s slated that he’ll be booked at the Montgomery County Jail post release.
Keeping Your Ride Safe
Even though many UTVs are very similar to cars, owners don’t seem to take the same safety precautions. Keys are left in the ignition, if there are locks they’re not engaged and you can find UTVs parked in hidden coves that make it easy for thieves to hide while they figure out how to take off with the goods. Plus, some lightweight utility terrain vehicles are easy enough to lift into a pickup truck if a criminal has a little help.
Keep your UTV properly stored and the key in the same place you store your car keys. You never know who might take a liking to it—and take it on a whirlwind ride while evading the police. You don’t want anyone joy riding in your UTV (except you).