US soldier steals armoured vehicle, takes it on two-hour joy ride in Virginia
A US soldier has stolen an armoured personnel carrier from a National Guard base in Virginia and taken the vehicle on a two-hour drive that ended in a police chase through downtown Richmond, the state capital.
The unidentified man took the vehicle just before 8:00pm local time from Fort Pickett, an Army National Guard base in Blackstone, Virginia, state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said in an email to Reuters.
The suspect then drove the military vehicle, which was not equipped with any weaponry, into the city of Richmond driving around 65kph, Ms Geller said.
Once in Richmond, several police squads followed the armoured personnel carrier — which travels on tracks similar to a tank — through downtown as it headed towards the Capitol building, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
“This is INSANE! Someone has hijacked a ‘Tank-like’ vehicle from Fort Pickett and just drove it by our apartment!,” Richmond local Parker Slaybaugh said on Twitter.
Capitol police officers with combat-style rifles guarded the entrance to Capitol Square as a police helicopter shined a spotlight on the vehicle and police worked to stop traffic, the newspaper reported.
About 9:40pm local time, the driver drove the armoured vehicle onto a median strip and was surrounded by police, ending the 95-kilometre pursuit, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
Police tasered the suspect, who was identified as a military soldier, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Keeli Hill said during a news conference.
No crashes or injuries occurred during the incident, Ms Geller said. Charges are pending against the man, who was in state police custody, she said.