UPDATE | Name released of man accused of stealing fire department vehicle

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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- UPDATE 4/12/19 @ 7:20 p.m.
Police have released the name of a man who allegedly stole a Charleston Fire Department pickup truck Friday afternoon.

Charleston Police say Billy Joe Vance, 34, stole the department pickup truck from the fire station on Morris Street. Firefighters say Vance walked into the station and asked to use the phone. They say they were familiar with Vance, and they let him in to use the phone.

While Vance was there, firefighters received an emergency call and had to leave the station. Vance left in a pickup truck that was parked in the fire bay with the doors open and the keys inside.

Police say the truck had about $30,000 in dive equipment stored in the bed.

Around 5 p.m., the stolen truck was spotted by a Kanawha County Deputy in Sissonville and a high-speed chase ensued.

Spike strips were used to disable the Ford F350 truck that then got stuck in the mud on North Grapevine Road where police say Vance abandoned the vehicle and ran away.

During the foot pursuit, investigators say Vance twisted his ankle.

According to the criminal complaint, Charleston firefighters were familiar with Vance after being involved on numerous medical calls involving him, as well as "his distinct face tattoos." Firefighters said he came in and asked to use the phone. They received an emergency call and left. When they returned to the station, the truck was missing.

The Charleston Police Department is charging Vance with two counts of grand larceny, while the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department is charging him with felony fleeing.



ORIGINAL STORY 4/12/19
A police chase involving a stolen fire department vehicle ended with a crash in Kanawha County Friday evening.

Metro 911 dispatchers say it happened along North Grapevine Road in Sissonville.

We're told the suspect stole a Charleston Fire Department pickup truck. The truck was being used to carry the department's dive gear while the other two trucks are out of service for maintenance.

Officers have the suspect in custody.

The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office and West Virginia State Police are on scene.

Keep checking the WSAZ App and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



 
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