JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colorado (CBS4)– A stolen work truck escalated into a chase, then a shootout, and ended in an accident in Jefferson County. The owner of the vehicle attempted to drive away his stolen truck, a move that law enforcement advises against.
Frank Maixner, the owner of the stolen truck, located it around 6 p.m. Thursday in an RTD parking lot in Twin Forks and on Highway 285.
“I saw the truck coming down the road, so I turned around and started following them,” Maixner said. “They just kept going and started blazing down the freeway.”
Jackie Kelley, public information officer at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, said she’s seen an increase in victims wanting to do more.
For the safety of everyone involved, Kelley says victims shouldn’t take matters into their own hands.
“It brings an extra person into play. We never want a victim to be misinterpreted as a potential suspect. The further away they are, the safer they really are,” Kelley said.
When Maixner called 911, they told him to disengage and stop following the truck. He backed off, but the suspect shot him. It was then that deputies launched a lawsuit following reports of a civilian being shot dead.
“In law enforcement, we assume that every call we make all day is someone with a gun. I don’t know if your average citizen thinks of it that way,” Kelley said. perhaps do not assess the desperation of the suspect who wants to have his belongings.”
Kelley says these are desperate times, for victims and criminals alike, but pursuing property is never worth losing your life.
“There are suspects that we know are willing to do whatever it takes to get away,” Kelley said.
She says the best thing to do in this situation is to call 911 and be a good witness.
“Look at what is happening from a distance. Give us the direction of travel, a description of the suspect, a description of the vehicle or what they are carrying. Things like that will help as long as it can be done safely because it’s just property,” Kelley said.
The suspects eventually crashed the truck into an RV at Radcliff Avenue and South Union Street. The two suspects fled and were arrested shortly thereafter.
Law enforcement agencies nationwide are understaffed, so you may not get the response you want right away. It’s something that Jeff Co says he struggles with too. Kelley says it’s always best to let them handle it.
” I do not recommend it. I’m damn lucky,” Maixner said.