RICHLAND, Wash. – A stolen truck full of doughnuts? Better believe Tri-Cities police were on that in a hurry.
Moments after the theft of the Viera's Bakery van was reported early Friday in Kennewick, police issued an all-points bulletin.
A Benton County sheriff's deputy quickly spotted the truck. After a chase at 30 to 35 mph, Richland police got it to stop and arrested the driver, Steve Swoboda, 19, for investigation of auto theft and felony escape.
Still intact was the entire load of glazed, sugar and cream doughnuts, as well as apple fritters, bear claws.
"In 24 years in law enforcement I've never had a call like that," Richland police Capt. Randy Barnes said. "To steal a bakery truck, how clever is that?"
"It kind of sticks out, a doughnut truck," Kennewick police Sgt. Ken Lattin said.
The truck was taken while the delivery driver, Gilberto Gonzales, left the engine running during a stop at the Break Place Conoco. Gonzales asked the clerk if he recalled seeing a man who had been standing in front of the store.
"The clerk said, 'Yeah, that guy's been wanting a ride to Richland for a while,"' said Mario Viera, one of the operators of the bakery.
Viera said he was happy that none of the load was lost "but I'm going to make sure Gilberto doesn't leave the keys in the truck any more."