From Conway Police Department Reports

Special on sleepers

It was 6:30 the morning of Tuesday, March 15, when police were called to an area department store. A man, police were told, was in the parking lot sitting in his truck. He was passed out and the truck was running, dispatch relayed to the officers.

The reporting officer arrived and found the man as described. He right away checked the cab of the truck to make sure the sleeping driver, the only person in the pickup, didn’t have any weapons. The officer didn’t see any weapons, but did see a portable blue light beacon as used in police vehicles sitting in the truck’s front seat.

The officer tried tapping on the window to wake the man, but the man stirred only for a moment and went back to sleep. The officer was then challenged by how to get in the truck. The 2007 truck’s outside door handle was missing from the pickup, a hole where it should be. The officer noted a screwdriver protruding from the hole. After some experimentation the officer was able to open the door using the screwdriver and then wake the man.

The truck was then shut off. The man told the officer he had come to the store to make a minor purchase for cell phone minutes. The officer noted the man had a phone card and some pieces of candy in his lap.

The officer asked the man about the blue light and the man said he didn’t know about it, that the truck was his brother’s. The man was handcuffed and put into the back of a patrol car. He was arrested for having the blue light.

An officer inventorying the pickup noted the blue light was tagged as being the property of a Morrilton college. Police there were called, and told the Conway Police they had no record of a missing blue light.

The truck was impounded.

Life of crime

A man was the subject of two police reports the morning of March 13, the first at 3 a.m. and the second at 4:15 a.m.

The first report began with an officer spotting a prowler on a rental car parking lot. The officer first spotted a car in the lot with its interior light on, and as he drew closer realized someone was inside the car, going through it. The officer drew closer he was spotted by the man in the car. The man got out of the car, looked at the officer, and put his hands up. Shortly after that he took off running. The officer gave chase, on foot, as the man left the rental car lot and ran behind a travel trailer business. The officer continued the chase, all the while radioing in his location and direction. The man got away, as the officer got caught in some thick underbrush while trying to intercept him. The officer was able, however, to get a good look at the man and gave a description.

Other officers were arriving on scene and were checking for the man. One officer got a fleeting glimpse of the man as he ran behind a building, but was not able to catch him. Meanwhile the reporting officer went to where the chase started and found a black duffel bag apparently dropped by the burglar. Inside it were odds and ends, apparently the take from pilfering several cars. The officer also found a bicycle nearby, which he took into evidence so it could be dusted for prints later.

While at the police department logging these items in and completing his report, the officer heard a radio call from a second officer near the rental car lot, having apparently spotted the man, and here things took an additional turn in that second officer’s report.

That officer, when they were unable to spot the man who had run away from the rental car lot, had parked nearby, lights and engine off, so he could watch the area and perhaps catch the man as he came out of hiding, the report stated. Then he heard a diesel engine start. It was just after 4 a.m. Then, near the rental car lot, a large diesel pickup pulled out from a shop and began to drive away.

The officer followed the truck in his car, noting here that that truck driver had yet to turn its lights on. After a short distance the officer went blue lights to pull the truck over. The truck slowed down, but then suddenly took off again, the officer now in pursuit. The truck picked up speed and, after a short distance, its hood opened. The truck began swerving from left to right on the two lane road, finally turning onto Harkrider, where it continued its hood-open swerving and trying to outrun the police car.The chase continued as other officers joined the pursuit.

Then the truck swerved and hit a tree head on. The passenger door opened and a man jumped out and ran. The man matched the description of the man from the earlier report.

The officer, once he made sure nobody else was inside the truck, chased after the man, now joined by other officers. As the man ran behind a building he was captured by two officers.

During questioning on the site the man admitted that is was he who had been breaking into cars on the rental car lot. He had stolen the truck, he told police, from a shop near the car lot.

He was arrested and jailed.