Hitchhiker arrested after allegedly stealing truck

Robert Lee Coffee; Photo courtesy of Indiana State Police.

An Indianapolis man was arrested after leading police on a 20-mile pursuit in Scott and Jackson Counties.

Indiana State Police say that just before 7 p.m. Monday, the driver of a log truck pulled into a fast-food restaurant in Scottsburg for a meal. The driver left the vehicle running with the keys still in the ignition. A few minutes later, the owner realized the truck was missing from the parking lot and spotted the vehicle northbound on I-65.

Indiana State Troopers soon located the vehicle and attempted to stop the truck near the Austin exit. However, the driver failed to pull over and continued driving north. Troopers continued to follow the truck, which at one time appeared to be stopping at the Exit 41 ramp, but then continued north. The truck eventually stopped at the bottom of the Seymour ramp at Exit 50 when Seymour Police assisted Troopers.

The driver, 29-year-old Robert Lee Coffee, was arrested on preliminary charges of:

– Auto Theft – Level 6 Felony
– Theft Above $750 – Level 6 Felony
– Resisting Law Enforcement – Level 6 Felony
– Reckless Driving – Class C Misdemeanor.

Investigators believe Coffee was hitchhiking from Bowling Green, Kentucky when he stole the vehicle.

The log truck was returned to the owner without damage.