A stolen military vehicle, called an Armored Personnel Carrier, went on a joyride through the streets of Richmond last night.
Virginia state troopers finally managed to stop the large, tracked vehicle at around 9:40 PM. That was almost two hours after the vehicle was stolen from Fort Pickett, an Army National Guard base in Blackstone, VA. The driver was an adult male, and a soldier according to police. He surrendered voluntarily once the cops had him cornered.
Several eyewitnesses reported seeing the APC near the Dinwiddle neighborhood, driving on Route 460 headed for I-95. Police chased the vehicle north on the interstate before it exited into downtown Richmond proper.
Cellphone video captured by bystanders shows the tan APC barreling down a city street, moving at speed, with police cars in hot pursuit.
Although bystanders were startled to see a “tank-like” vehicle rolling through their neighborhoods, an APC is not a tank and has no weapons. The one seen driving down Richmond’s streets last night appeared to be an M577, the “command” version of the old M113, an APC which first saw use during the Vietnam war.
Apparently, the driver did a decent job steering the thing, because it didn’t crash into anything during the nearly two hours it was on the lam from Fort Pickett.
Once the APC reached Richmond proper, a number of police units followed it downtown as it made its way towards the Virginia Capitol building. Capitol police officers, equipped with military-grade rifles, stood guard at the entrance to Richmond’s Capitol Square.
A police helicopter even got involved, aiming a spotlight at the the APC as cops worked to divert traffic from the area. Eventually, at around 9:40 PM, the driver rode the APC up onto a median, and was surrounded by cops.
And that was the end of his 60 mile joyride in an armored personnel carrier.
The driver has not been identified as of yet, but charges against him are pending.