A Terrebonne man whose ex-wife's pickup truck was stolen from their front yard Sunday afternoon took off after him and found where he'd crashed the truck a few miles away, then held the driver until Deschutes County sheriff's deputies arrived to arrest him.
Shortly after 4 p.m., deputies were dispatched to the report of the stolen vehicle, said sheriff's Sgt. Bryan Husband. Oregon State Police also responded to the scene.
The victims gave deputies a description of the 1996 white and silver Ford F-150 extended-cab pickup, Husband said, and deputies began searching the area. The sergeant said the pickup had been left unlocked, with the keys in it.
According to victim Ken Sankey's daughter, Michelle, her dad had been washing his hands when he heard a truck "peel out," looked up and saw the pickup being stolen. While his ex-wife, Rita, called police, her dad "took off after him," she said.
The driver, later identified as Peter Caswell, 42, of Redmond, drove west on Smith Rock Way about four miles when he lost control on Smith Rock Way near NE 33rd Avenue, going through a barbed wire fence, causing major damage to both the truck and the fence, according to Husband.
He said Caswell also had picked up a passenger, Amber Higbee, 43, also of Redmond, after stealing the truck, but neither were injured in the crash.
As deputies searched, Ken Sankey reported that he had found the truck and detained the driver, Husband said.
Sankey's daughter said the driver tried to run, but her father "grabbed the man by his backpack." Passing motorists also stopped to help him, Michelle Sankey said.
Caswell was arrested and lodged at the Deschutes County Jail on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicles, DUII, first-degree criminal mischief and reckless endangering.
Initial bail was $15,000, but by Monday, Caswell was being held without bail on a parole violation charge, with other added charges of driving with a suspended or revoked license and second-degree criminal mischief.
Higbee faces no charges in the incident, Husband said.
The stolen pickup had to be towed from the scene by Roger's Towing, Husband said. Michelle Sankey said it was "totaled," but the car thief was caught "thanks to the fast actions of everyone."
As for the truck being left unlocked with the keys in it, Michelle Sankey said, "I yelled at my dad" about that. "His reply: 'I thought we lived in the country still.' Sad to say, but those days are gone."
Hear more about the theft and all the rest tonight on NewsChannel 21 at Five and Six.