A stolen truck chase that began Sunday morning in Middletown ended in Liberty Twp. with two suspects located at a grocery store and a restaurant.
Middletown Police Officer Holly Owens ran the plates of a Nissan Frontier at about 11 a.m. on South Verity Parkway near Lafayette Avenue. Information returned listed the truck as stolen from Blanchester.
Owens followed the truck while waiting for backup so a stop could be initiated. At Ohio 63 and Britton Lane in Monroe, Owens activated the cruiser’s lights and sirens, but the truck sped away traveling in excess of 90 mph, according to a police report.
The truck then exited onto Interstate 75 south, where it accelerated to more than 110 mph while traveling on the left shoulder, according to police.
Police stopped pursuit due to the speed and Owens lost sight of the vehicle.
Butler County dispatchers reported the truck was in a ditch on Ohio 129 near Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Liberty Campus. Dispatchers reported one person was running toward the Cincinnati-Dayton Road exit and the other toward Liberty Center.
“They ran out of gas,” Middletown Police Major David Birk told the Journal-News. “If it wasn’t for that, we may never have found them before they got out of the area.”
Middletown Police Officer Dennis Jordan and police dog Koda began tracking the suspects and found two cell phones near a fence about 20 feet from the truck.
The dog tracked to the Kroger Marketplace on Yankee Road, where a suspect was found trying on new clothes in the store. Matthew Aaron Taylor, 33, of Middletown, was arrested and charged with obstructing official business.
One of the cell phones identified the other suspect, the driver of the car, as Richard Todd. Liberty Center security located Todd in Brio restaurant.
Todd, 38, of Summerfield, Florida, was charged with receiving stolen property, eluding police and driving under suspension. His case has been bound over to a Butler County grand jury for consideration, according to court records.
Taylor, who is charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, failed to show up for court this week in Middletown Municipal Court. A bench warrant for his arrest has been issued.