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Semi-truck theft seems to rise after one suspect caught on camera

Updated: Dec. 9, 2020 at 6:21 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Semi-truck theft is now trending after one thief was caught on camera inside one of the vehicles, caught it on fire and then abandoned it.

There have already been three semi-truck thefts in the last week, up until then, there were only five this year.

“We normally don’t see a lot of 18 wheeler’s being stolen, you have to have a common knowledge of how to drive them. Most people don’t have that,” said Tammy Chervenka, crime prevention coordinator for APD.

Chervenka says she doesn’t see a lot of these because being able to drive a semi takes experience.

There are about seven steps you must take to get one of these semi-tractors to even move.

A commercial driving instructor says the suspect had prior experience driving that vehicle.

“Seeing the video on TV, that gentleman had prior experience because he knew what buttons to push to release the breaks, he knew what gears to put it in, how to change the gears and, so he had to have prior experience,” said Eugine Strouse, a commercial driving instructor for Amarillo College.

Strouse says being able to drive one of these is an animal in itself.

“When you stop to consider you’re working with a 75 foot vehicle, fully loaded, 80,000 pounds, so you have 40 tons of vehicle that can move 70 miles an hour down the highway, which can cause a lot of damage,” said Strouse.

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