Daily Egyptian Student Newspaper Delivery Truck Stolen, Chased by Cops & Totaled

In the eyes of at least one alleged criminal, there is still some value to print journalism — or at least the vehicle toting it around.

Last week, a middle-aged man in Carbondale, Ill., allegedly stole a delivery truck rented by The Daily Egyptian student newspaper at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He then led police on a crazy late-night chase.


According to reports from The Associated Press, local television news and the DE, the truck’s regular delivery driver had stopped at a Marathon gas station to drop off copies of the paper’s latest issue. He left the truck’s engine running and the door unlocked.

1Cue random dude trouble. A 44-year-old named Bernard Adams allegedly jumped into the vehicle at the station without the driver’s knowledge and took off. Where he aimed to go in a beat-up rented circulation pickup truck sporting an SIU insignia and stuffed with oodles of Egyptians is anyone’s guess. Not entirely sober? Joyride junkie? Chop-shop schemer? Just an old newspaper loon?

In the end, it didn’t matter. Police quickly spotted the stolen Chevy in a town roughly 10 miles away. Officers then nabbed Adams, but not before he sideswiped a pair of cop cars, destroyed the truck (!) and spurred a summer-movie-ish student press heist scene.

A recent SIUC grad student who spied trouble 30 minutes after the alleged gas station getaway: “First we saw the maroon and white pickup truck kind of zoom by and it was making a scraping sound. We had thought maybe that the tire was flat and then immediately following maybe a cluster of six or seven squad cars with their sirens on, and then over the next minute or so probably another nine or 10 [police cars].”

Among other charges, Adams faces counts of theft and aggravated fleeing. Aggravated maybe, but definitely not fast. DE circulation manager Chris Dorris: “[The truck] only goes like 45 mph, you know, successfully.”

On a popular college media advisers’ list-serv, DE faculty managing editor Eric Fidler aptly and awesomely declared, “After 10 years here, nothing really surprises me anymore.”


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