HIGH RIDGE, MO (KTVI) – A Fenton man said he had a two tire blowout on Highway 30 in High Ridge early Saturday and two men he thought were good Samaritans ended up stealing his pickup.
Brandon Wooten, 20, pulled off at the McDonald’s at Hwy. 30 and Old Sugar Creek around 4:00 in the morning.
“I just spent $16,500 on a new truck that I paid for. I was pretty excited,” Wooten said.
He drove to Springfield, MO, to pick up the truck, a decked out 2004 Ford diesel.
He spent the next 10 hours showing it off.
He was headed to show one last friend who was home from military duty.
“This is like 12 hours of having the vehicle – less than that. I’m driving down 30 and I saw what I thought to be a deer … I feel ‘boom boom’. I thought it was just two tires blowing out.”
Help arrived just as he was checking the damage at the McDonald’s.
“There was 2 gentlemen who pulled up and said, ‘hey we just saw what happened. We can give a ride home’,” he said.
His truck’s in a tow yard now.
When friends took him back to the McDonald’s later that morning, it was gone.
Witnesses told him 3 men and a woman dragged it away with an unmarked tow truck, Wooten’s truck still in “park”. One of the men was one of the same guys who had given him a ride about 90 minutes earlier, the witnesses said.
“I was furious. I was very mad and it hurt,” said Wooten, a roofer with a young son at home.
The truck purchase was the biggest of his life.
The truck turned up at a home in the 2000 block of Windmill Creek in Imperial. There was big pile of truck tires near the driveway. Jefferson County Sheriff’s investigators questioned two people there but did not make an arrest, Wooten said.
It was Wooten who found the truck after getting tips from social media.
He called the sheriff’s department en route to the scene.
“And that’s that, there it was,” Wooten said.
There was obvious bumper, wheel, and side view mirror damage to his truck.
More, less obvious damage is likely. It can all be fixed. He has full insurance coverage.
He was just thrilled to get his truck back.
Police broke up two stolen truck rings in neighboring Franklin County earlier this year. More than 30 trucks like Wooten’s were stolen. There were at least 7 arrests. Police shot and killed 1 suspect.
Wooten wondered if his case could somehow be connected.
Investigators said there was no sign of that yet and there had been no similar crimes reported so far.
There were solid leads in Wooten’s case, an investigator said.