LAUDERHILL (CBSMiami) – A trio suspected in a Lauderhill burglary led police on a wild chase before crashing their stolen truck.
Lauderhill Police spokesman Lt. Greg Solowsky said officers were sent to check out reports of a burglary at 1792 NW 55th Avenue.
“I said somebody’s leaving their house awfully fast. I’m not thinking it’s my truck leaving the house,” said Willie Kelly.
It’s the crooks themselves who got the attention of police. As they were speeding away in the hot truck, they nearly plowed over several detectives working an unrelated case nearby.
“My mother-in-law called and said ‘Hey, ya’lls truck is on the news’,” said Kelly.
After hitting several vehicles, the driver of the truck slammed into a utility pole and guard rail at Rock Island Road and NW 44th Street. A fire then erupted under the hood. The three burglary subjects scrambled out of the vehicle and at least two jumped into a nearby canal to make their escape.
“We came up here and I seen my struck smoking, on fire,” said Kelly.
Lamont Morgan said as the fire grew, the police decided to err on the side of caution.
“It just kept getting bigger and bigger and the Lauderhill police department started moving back their vehicles as if, for precautionary reasons,” said Morgan.
Morgan, who works nearby, recorded the truck fire on his cell phone. He said it got pretty intense, pretty quickly and was grateful it didn’t spread into the nearby brush.
“Right when it really roared up, here comes the calvary, here comes the fire department from one direction, then the other and they took care of business,” said Morgan.
One of the burglary subjects was taken into custody on the east side of the Florida Turnpike at NW 43rd Street and 46th Terrace. The other two made it to the other side of the Turnpike and into a Lauderdale Lakes neighborhood where one was picked up by police.
“The remaining two actually jumped over a guardrail, swam across the canal, exited the other side, ran across the Turnpike, which at this point of the day is extremely busy,” said police Lt. Michael Butkus.
A second suspect was picked up by police – the third got away.