Owner chases down stolen pickup | NevadaAppeal.com

Owner chases down stolen pickup

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

A Carson City man and his mechanic chased down his truck Thursday morning after a stranger stole it from outside a Corbett Street repair shop.

“My truck was out in front warming up, and I was inside taking care of business. I looked out the window and darn if my truck hadn’t developed a Spanish accent, and it was headed south toward Tijuana,” said Jack Vaughan, 66.

Vaughan had dropped off his 1985 Ford pickup for a tune up at Brake Alignment Plus and was collecting it Thursday morning when Juan Carlos Huerta-Sanchez, 25, allegedly decided to drive off in it.

Vaughan said mechanic Ed Paynter jumped into his vehicle and gave chase, while shop owner Bill Coyle tossed Vaughan his own keys, urging him, “Go get him, Jack!” The two men in two vehicles followed Vaughan’s truck south on Carson Street to Fairview Drive.

Vaughan said that at a red light at Fairview Drive, Paynter pulled in front of the stolen truck, put his vehicle in park and was approaching the driver when Vaughan pulled alongside the truck.

“I pulled up to the left of the kid, tooted the horn and waved and smiled and said ‘That’s my truck.’ He couldn’t back up because there was traffic behind him and Ed was coming out of his truck. Ed’s a very beefy guy,” Vaughan said. “(Huerta-Sanchez) says I’m out of here, dumped the clutch on my truck and stalled it right there, and jumped out and started running west.”

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Vaughan said Paynter chased Huerta-Sanchez as he fled on foot west through the Forestry Division parking lot. A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper, who had witnessed the two men running, nabbed Huerta-Sanchez on Curry Street.

Carson City Sheriff’s Deputy Sal Acosta said Huerta-Sanchez had a fairly good reason for stealing the truck.

“He had to be in Tahoe for traffic court and no one would give him a ride,” Acosta said. “He readily admitted he took the truck.”

Huerta-Sanchez was booked into the Carson City Jail on suspicion of felony grand larceny. His bail is set at $25,000.

“I haven’t even had coffee yet and here we are, our hearts are just pounding. Now one gentleman’s in the cooler, he’s in deep doo-doo, and I got my truck back,” said Vaughan. “All’s well that ends well.”

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.