BELLINGHAM - Police arrested a man Wednesday, Dec. 1, after a stolen 2002 Chevy pickup truck he was driving got stuck in the grass at the Frank Geri softball fields near Civic Stadium.
Richard D. Calton, 37, got out of the truck once it was stuck and tried to flee from the officers but was captured at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. He was booked into the Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of vehicle theft, malicious mischief and theft.
About an hour earlier, a welder doing work for Trinity Lutheran Church, 119 Texas St., left his keys in the truck's ignition. He left the truck, and a flatbed trailer it was towing, unattended for 10 minutes, according to Bellingham police spokesman Mark Young.
When he returned, the truck and trailer were gone. He called 911, and dispatchers broadcast a description of the truck. The truck, sans trailer, was spotted going southbound on Interstate 5 and getting off at the Old Fairhaven Parkway exit, according to Young.
Officers began their pursuit at 24th Street and Donovan Avenue. Calton drove up to 50 mph in 25-mph zones, ran through stop signs and red lights, and even drove onto the sidewalk to avoid traffic and elude officers, according to Young.
The pursuit lasted about 12 minutes before its end near Civic Stadium. The flatbed trailer hasn't been recovered. It's black and has a Washington state license plate of 7365WI. Anyone who sees it should call 911.