TOLEDO — A stolen van loaded down with donuts may not be the best vehicle for eluding police.
Frank Alvarado, 46, of Moline, Ill., found that out the hard way Thursday morning after leading nine officers from four different agencies in a high-speed chase through Benton and Tama counties.
Alvarado boosted the van, owned by Donut Delite Ltd. of Moline, around 5 a.m. when a delivery driver was making a stop at the Rock Island Hospital. He got as far as Benton County when a sheriff’s deputy spotted him heading west on Highway 30, according to the Tama County Attorney’s Office.
The deputy was soon joined by two more sheriff’s cars and a Belle Plaine city officer in the chase, which reached speeds of up to 100 mph, the attorney’s office said.
“What strikes me as a bit out of the ordinary in this case is the number of officers who were able to respond,” said Rich Vander Mey, assistant Tama County Attorney. “I don’t know whether the fact that the stolen vehicle contained donuts has anything to do with that.”
Five Tama County sheriff’s deputies joined the chase as it entered their jurisdiction. One deputy attempted to disable the van with a spike strip shortly after it entered into Tama County, but Alvarado drove around the strip.
The chase ended around 10:30 a.m. at the Hardee’s restaurant parking lot when Tama County Dep. Chad Hansen rammed the van’s driver side door. Alvarado was taken into custody without incident, the attorney’s office said.
Four additional officers from three other agencies showed up, one of which drove his personal vehicle, the attorney’s office said.
Sharon Wainwright, manager of Delite Donuts, said the bakery donated their goods to the officers involved in the chase.
“They probably deserved it,” Wainwright said.
She said she was a bit surprised to hear the van made it all the way to Tama County before it was stopped. It was also a bit of a shock to hear it was found so quickly.
She said this is the first time a van has been stolen while on a route. The driver of the van had around 50 stops to make on his morning route when the van was nabbed. Wainwright said the driver only had four stops left, but there was still a lot left in the van.
Alvarado was charged with first-degree theft, a Class C felony; eluding police officers, a Class D felony; and numerous traffic violations.
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