Suspect steals pickle van, leads Akron police on chase before hitting building

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 11:36 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A 38-year-old Akron man is facing nearly a half-dozen criminal charges for allegedly stealing a pickle delivery van and trying to flee from police during a high-speed pursuit.

A delivery driver for the Akron Pickle company told Akron police his van was stolen on Tuesday before 1:30 p.m. while he unloaded items.

According to police, the suspect, later identified as Laurence Word, jumped into the driver’s seat and drove away in the pickle delivery van.

The delivery driver and a passerby were able to follow Word while they called police. The two said Word then drove the van to the Village Thrift Store on East Waterloo Road and stole more property from inside the business, according to investigators.

Police later located the stolen van and tried to initiate a traffic stop after it was seen speeding on South Main Street.

Word refused to stop and he ran several red lights during a short pursuit. He eventually crashed into the rear of a building on East South Street.

Akron police said Word was arrested after he ran into the basement of the Hope Café. He was booked at the Summit County Jail on charges that include auto theft, failure to comply with order or signal of a police officer, obstructing official business, and theft.

“Thank goodness, it turned out to be not a huge dill, and we are grateful for everyone who offered help and support and to the Akron Police Department for their quick action in ending the situation safely,” the pickle company wrote with humor on Facebook.

The stolen van was later returned to the Akron Pickle business owner and clothing items taken from the Village Thrift Store were recovered.

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