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FedEx driver leaves keys in truck, man goes on 2-state joyride

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A FedEx driver left the keys in her truck filled with Christmas presents and a man jumped in and took off, police said.

The crook took the truck on a two-state joyride with multiple police cruisers in pursuit before the chase ended in a Kansas City suburb. The man was taken into custody.

The chase wound through Kansas City neighborhoods and ended in Prairie Village, KS. It also included highways and busy thoroughfares.

At one point, officers surrounded the vehicle and an officer got out and pointed a gun at the suspect, but he managed to take off again. The driver was polite at times and used a turn signal and stopped for traffic. He also drove the wrong way on a busy thoroughfare.

The chase ended just after 5 p.m. Wednesday. The truck was actually stolen about 8:45 a.m.

The FedEx driver, Ayanna Stephens, told police that she stopped at a Shell Service station at 8801 NE Birmingham Rd. to fill up the 2004 GMC delivery vehicle with gas.

"Stephens stated she pulled her company vehicle adjacent to a gas pump to refuel and went inside the service station to make a purchase and left the keys in the vehicle," a statement from the Kansas City Police Department said. "Stephens stated when she exited the business, her company vehicle was gone."

A woman who was filling up her vehicle said she saw a man in his 20s eyeing the truck. She said he acted suspicious before jumping in and taking off.

FedEx representatives were unable to provide a license plate for the vehicle, complicating the search efforts.

About 4:10 p.m., officers received a call that the truck had been spotted in the area of 2100 block of E. 89th St.

The driver went from east Kansas City into neighborhoods near Rockhurst University. He ran across a lawn in the area of Ward Parkway and traveled the wrong way. He has lost multiple tires, affecting his speed.

"I was back in my office working and my dogs just went crazy ... because of all the lights sirens and stuff," witness Doug Fishel said. "This doesn't happen in this part of town. This is a very quiet neighborhood. Very surprised."

He crossed over into Kansas. He eventually hit stop sticks and the chase ended at Belinder Avenue and 71st Street.  Authorities took the driver into custody without incident.

As the nervous, shivering suspect sat on the curb, police blocked off traffic and processed the scene. Neighbors came out of their houses to see the commotion and take a peak at the jumbled jostled packages inside the truck.

"I was a little nervous because I wasn't quite sure what was going on, and we don't get a lot of commotion in our neighborhood," witness Terri Chadd said. "I was hoping that the FedEx truck didn't have any of my stuff on it, because I do shop online a lot."

FedEx issued the following statement. "We can confirm the FedEx Home Delivery vehicle was stolen earlier today, and we are grateful for local law enforcement and their efforts in helping us retrieve it. We are cooperating fully with the authorities, but, as the investigation remains ongoing, we have no other information to share at this time."

The suspect was taken to the Prairie Village jail.

The theft was caught on surveillance video and police reviewed the tape earlier in the day.

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