Good morning drivers, I have a little crime and punishment for breakfast. This time it’s out of beautiful Bellefontaine, Ohio. On Monday, May 3rd, a group of inmates were on trash detail near the Bellefontaine Municipal Airport when one of them decided to slip away and steal a Peterbilt from Shelby Paving Company. That inmate was 35-year old Andrew Claybaugh. Claybaugh took off east down S.R. 47, but a nice piece of asset management technology knew exactly where he was going.
Police contacted the owner, who had a GPS tracking unit mounted in the truck, and therefore knew the exact location of the rig. They intercepted the rig on Church Road in Champaign County. When they turned on their lights, Claybaugh began to speed away, clocked at one time doing 74 in a 55 mph speed zone. He committed a nice long list of other violations, including straddling the center lines in an attempt to cause other accidents to “make the pursuit too dangerous to continue.”
Luckily, using the GPS data, a detective was able to get in front of the Peterbilt and throw out a spike strip, getting a bite on the front passenger tire. The inmate continued until the tire blew out, and was rushed by officers who attempted to pull him out of the truck. Claybaugh now has Escape, a second-degree felony, and Grand Theft Auto, a fourth-degree felony added to his previous drug charges.
Fleet managers, truck owners, and anyone with something of value should think seriously about asset tracking. Take this as a lesson of what could happen. Luckily, that truck did no damage to property and no one was injured. That little monthly fee for tracking might not seem so bad compared to a nuclear verdict (something that is happening far too often for my taste).
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