July 17, 2017

Someone stole a garbage truck last week, dumped its trash on a gravel road and sped for miles across county roads before the truck got stuck at a county park.

A driver for Carroll Refuse Service, at 326 N. Carroll St., left the truck unlocked with its keys inside it overnight Tuesday, said Curt Snyder, president of the company. The driver had been pulled from his normal route to help a coworker, and no one parked the truck back inside a garage.

Workers discovered the truck was gone the next morning.

“The average kid that wants to jump in and go for a joyride, most guys aren’t going to be comfortable,” Snyder said.

“There’s some intimidating switches in there. It has a strobe light indicating it’s a slow-moving vehicle. My guess is that whoever stole it had a (commercial driver’s license).”

Trash from the vehicle was found on Jade Avenue south of Carroll. The thief was able to figure out how to dump the trash but was apparently unable to raise the back gate again.

The lowered gate caused the truck to get stuck at Bennett County Park, a tucked-away park north of Ralston that is about 14 miles from Carroll Refuse Service. Someone found it there Wednesday, according to a police report.

The truck’s rear suspension was badly damaged, indicating that whoever drove it that night might have tried to launch it into the air by speeding into gravel-road intersections where the roadway rises, Snyder said.

It’s unclear how many people might have ridden in the truck. Snyder said it comfortably seats two. No beer cans or other signs of alcohol were found in or near the truck.

“The nice part is that no one got hurt,” Snyder said. “It’s no fun when someone does something like that. We’re running a business. We’re driving a lot of miles.

“I’m hoping that some of the fingerprints come out. ... I don’t think this was a 16-year-old who just jumped in and went for a ride.”