Stolen truck taken on a long joyride through Vashon

A stop sign was knocked over in Manzanita, apparently vandalized by people joyriding in a stolen truck.  - Courtesy photo
A stop sign was knocked over in Manzanita, apparently vandalized by people joyriding in a stolen truck.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

During Strawberry Festival weekend, someone took an Islander's flatbed pickup truck for an extensive joyride, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake and causing thousands of dollars of damage to the truck.

Islander Reed Nichelsen, who lives near Portage, forgot to take the keys out of his work truck when he got home on Saturday, July 18. His truck, with a tractor loaded on its flatbed, was parked at Portage and Quartermaster Drive when he went to sleep that evening, he said.

But sometime between 1 and 4 a.m., two individuals took the light blue Ford truck on a jaunt "for cheap thrills" across Vashon and Maury Island, he said.

"They took it from Portage and Quartermaster, drove south, drove west on Quartermaster to Vashon Highway, then drove south to the south end," said Nichelsen, who uses the vehicle for his tractor service company, Nichelsen's Northwest. "I know this because all along the way there are posts and other things that are knocked down, because the truck has the windshield bashed, the side mirror knocked off, and the bumper's all dented."

He also found pieces of his truck, such as the side mirror, next to damaged property far from his home, he said.

After reaching Vashon's south end, the joyriders turned around and made their way to Manzanita Beach, at the south end of Maury Island, where they tried to drive the vehicle over several large logs and onto the beach, Nichelsen said.

Mailbox and traffic signs were damaged in Manzanita also, though the tractor on the faltbed didn't get thrown off, he said.

The truck got stuck on one of the logs, and Nichelsen recovered his truck the next morning after police reached him by calling the phone number listed on the side of the truck. Nichelsen's number and company name are plastered on the side of the light blue 1990 flatbed, he said.

Nichelsen's insurance policy doesn't cover theft, he said, so he'll be footing the bill for repairs to the truck, including replacing a bumper, windshield, side mirror and both doors, which currently don't open. He estimates repairs would cost more than $2,000, he said.

"I feel a little violated," said Nichelsen, who also lost his cell phone, personal organizer and tools when his truck was stolen. "I feel frustrated, and kind of stupid for leaving my keys in the car. I'm living on an Island for that reason, because I tend to trust people. But now, I will take (my keys) out at night, because there's always a slight chance that soembody will be going by and see an opportunity for ridiculous fun."

Nichelsen asked Islanders to call him with any information that could help him find out who stole his truck.

A neighbor at Manzanita saw "what they described as two young people" fleeing the scene once the truck got stuck on logs there, Nichelsen said.

The neighbor believed the two individuals to be young "simply because they were so fast," Nichelsen said.

Call Nichelsen at 463-1755 with any information about the vehicle's theft or the perpetrators involved.

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