Armored vehicle stolen from Virginia military base, leads police on chase

Stolen Tank Virginia USA Richmond Ford Pickett Interstate 95

Stolen Tank Virginia USA Richmond Ford Pickett Interstate 95

Numerous videos of the chase - which lasted almost two hours - appeared on social media with many observers shocked by the scene.

"Lt. Yabut was not authorized by the brigade commander or anyone else to drive the armored personnel carrier off Fort Pickett to any location for any reason", spokesman A.A.

The tank-like vehicle, which could be seen on multiple videos posted on social media, was finally stopped at around 9:40 p.m., according WWBT-TV.

Police say a soldier stole a military vehicle and led law enforcement officers on a 75-mile chase through Virginia.

Police were spotted early tonight behind a tank-like military vehicle that was stolen from Fort Pickett. He was deployed to Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009 with the Illinois National Guard. The driver got off the interstate at the Boulevard exit and drove onto Broad Street and past the intersection of Broad and Belvidere Street, causing police to frantically try and clear the streets of any traffic, local newspaper Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. The M577, which is based on the M113 continuous track armored platform, has a reported top speed of just about 42 miles per hour, so despite the fairly low speeds for a highway chase, the suspect was certainly putting the 12 ton vehicle to work.

There were no crashes or other injuries related to the pursuit, according to several news reports. The vehicle wasn't equipped with any weapons, but Yabut had his personal weapon with him, apparently unloaded.

The driver of the vehicle has not been identified at this time, nor is his motive for stealing the vehicle clear.

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The vehicle is now traveling northbound on Interstate 95 and is being followed by State Police, who are attempting to make contact with the driver, according to police.

The Virginia Army National Guard base is situated in Fort Pickett.

The chase came to an end in Richmond at about 10 p.m., when Yabut was arrested.

Yabut is being held in the Richmond City Jail.

1st Lt. Joshua Yabut told The Associated Press he was following commands to take the vehicle as part of a training exercise to gauge the police response.

Yabut said police shot him with a stun gun and set a dog on him before taking him into custody. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the adjutant general of Virginia, said in a statement.

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