Alleged truck thief leads police on high-speed chase, crashes into tree


by Honora Swanson &

Posted on January 27, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 7:11 AM

SPOKANE-- A dramatic scene unfolded in front of police after an alleged thief led them on pursuit and crashed a stolen truck into a tree.

A local asphalt business in North Spokane was reportedly hit by the thief Tuesday night, when an employee said he saw the suspect take off with one of their work trucks.

Sean Kiphart told police the suspect tried to take diesel batteries.

“He tried to get into the shop and found the truck a little more valuable I guess,” Kiphart said.
Kiphart and the business owner decided to track the truck down themselves. It took a couple days, but they found the stolen truck on Thursday.

“We sat about four blocks away from it, staked it out so to speak, and about 30 to 45 minutes later, he jumped in it,” Kiphart said.

They called police and then followed the driver, Billy Lammert. Police caught up with the suspect, who then allegedly led them on a high-speed chase.

Police caught up with Lammert, 40, and found him on the ground covered in blood and the truck smashed into a tree.

“He pulled out from Albertson's on Nevada and sped up. Once he reached 60 mph the police officer had to back off,” Kiphart said. “Once he figured he got far enough away, I guess, he tried to jump out of the vehicle.”

Kiphart said Lammert was moaning on the ground and bleeding as officers approached him.
Police arrested Lammert for possession of a stolen motor vehicle, among other charges.