Andrew Finley says the man who stole his truck was drunk and couldn't drive a stick shift
8:00 PM, Feb 6, 2013
9:24 AM, Feb 7, 2013
ST. PETERSBURG - The man who stole Andrew Finley's truck out of his St. Petersburg driveway Monday night didn't know just how far Finley would go to get his Dodge Ram back.
"I was more frustrated than anything," explained Finley.
Finley and his wife Kimberly were getting ready for bed when they heard familiar revving noises. Kimberly told her husband someone was in his truck. When he looked out the window, a man was in his truck and driving away.
Finley grabbed his 21-year-old son, jumped into his wife's minivan and started following his truck.
At first, the chase didn't go fast, according to Finley, because the suspect did not know how to drive a stick shift.
"I think he was trying to get a feel for the clutch," Finley said.
The suspect figured it out and led Finley on a chase throughout the city. During the chase, Finley was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher giving her a blow-by-blow of the chase.
He cannot recall just how fast he was going but knows he was speeding.
Near 1st Avenue South, Finley said he got stuck behind a car and lost sight of the truck. But, police were now hot on the driver's tail. Within minutes, police cornered the driver next to a gas station's dumpster.
The driver was identified as Herman Wilder, 48.
Wilder is charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, driving under the influence, and resisting an officer.
Police describe Wilder as a transient.
Finley believes Wilder got the keys to his truck by breaking into his son's car where he found a spare.
Wilder is in the Pinellas County Jail and is being held on $16,500 bond.