Soldier charged with DUI in armored vehicle theft

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC/AP) — Virginia State Police say a soldier who was chased by police for more than 60 miles after he stole an armored personnel carrier from a National Guard base was driving under the influence of drugs. 

At 7:55 p.m. Tuesday, Virginia State Police were informed of an armored personnel vehicle being driven away from Fort Pickett in Nottoway County. 

Police identified the driver as 29-year-old Joshua Philip Yabut of Richmond. He was charged with driving under the influence of drugs, as well as felony counts of eluding police and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Police declined to comment on Yabut’s motive for stealing the vehicle from Fort Pickett Tuesday evening. They said the investigation is ongoing.

Video sent to 8News in Richmond shows the  vehicle, which state police say is not equipped with weapons and not identified as a tank, was being driven east on 460 at about 40 miles per hour. 

The vehicle then made its way northbound on Interstate 95 and was being followed by State Police, according to police. 

Police blocked several exit ramps along the interstate to prevent the driver from going into neighborhoods.

“We wanted to make sure that we had the safety of the public as first and foremost,” said Virginia State Sgt. Keeli Hill. “We wanted it make sure that there was not going to be any other civilians…  the possibility of civilians injured in the process.”

State police made attempts to contact the driver during the pursuit.

Witnesses sent in video of the armored vehicle racing down Broad Street in Richmond as police gave chase.

No crashes associated with the armored vehicle were reported.

State Police say Yabut  ended the pursuit on his own accord at East Broad Street and 11th Street, but was not complying with commands, and was tased.

Yabut is being held at the Richmond jail. It could not immediately be determined if he has an attorney.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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