As police and private surveillance cameras become more ubiquitous, so too are the images they capture. Footage of high-speed car chases and other events trending towards the spectacular and salacious aren't just limited to tabloid TV news and reality shows these days, they're all over, including online. This is the case with the too-ridiculous-to-believe story of the Krispy Kreme truck that was stolen from an Open Pantry on the west side of Madison just over a week ago.
In the early morning hours of Saturday, November 24, the Madison and University of Wisconsin police departments conducted a high speed chase of a Krispy Kreme delivery truck that ended with an arrest. Here is the incident report issued after its conclusion:
A delivery driver reported that his Krispy Kreme truck was stolen from the Open Pantry as he was making a delivery inside. A UWPD officer located the truck and got into a pursuit with it. During the pursuit the truck stopped and the driver backed the truck into the squad before taking off again. Another UW officer continued the pursuit for a short period before the pursuit was terminated.
An MPD officer was in the area and observed the vehicle drive past him. The officer then attempted to stop the vehicle and a second pursuit ensued outbound on University Avenue. The suspect driver at one point drove against traffic where speeds reached over 80 mph. The driver then crossed over the median and turned into the Village of Shorewood behind the strip mall area where the driver then surrendered in the parking lot of Copps in the 3600 block of University Avenue and was taken into custody.
Last Thursday, the driver Warren G. Whitelightning of Crandon was charged in Dane County Circuit court with multiple criminal offenses and traffic violations. In a report in the Cap Times, ADA Mike Verveer noted the absurd element to the incident while emphasizing its seriousness. He also made a prediction: "Verveer said the chase was captured on tape by video cameras in the pursing squad cars and predicted the tapes would hit the popular YouTube web site when they are released to the public."
This has indeed occurred, with seven minutes of chase footage captured by UWPD squad car 1039 shared online, flying doughnuts and all. The cruiser's surveillance video of the chase follows.
"There's probably also a stupid joke somewhere in here about police chasing a donut truck," wrote Emily Mills about the post-Thanksgiving pursuit, "but I'm going to rise about and leave it to your capable imaginations."