Disgruntled Former Employee Hijacks Front Loader and Leads Police on a Slow-Speed Chase



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Gwinnett County, Georgia — On Saturday, March 23, at approximately 11:00 a.m., officers from the West Precinct were dispatched to a dispute call at a waste management business on Corley Road in unincorporated Norcross. The initial responding officer responded and learned that a former employee had stolen a large, yellow front loader and was driving it around on the property. The vehicle weighs approximately 75,000 pounds and was equipped with a large bucket on the front. The officer attempted to stop the vehicle, but the suspect continued driving and eventually exited the property onto Corley Road. The suspect traveled onto Jimmy Carter Boulevard toward Buford Highway. Once under the bridge near South Peachtree Street, he abruptly made a U-turn. He continued west while officers were trying to get him to stop. His movements were unpredictable as he navigated heavy traffic.

The suspect made another U-turn. Officers from the Norcross Police Department and the Georgia State Patrol also assisted with the pursuit while keeping other motorists safe. As other officers pursued the suspect, the initial responding officer returned to the business to get another large construction vehicle that could disable the fleeing suspect. A trash truck and another front loader were escorted by officers to the fleeing suspect several miles away. The suspect in the stolen front loader turned left onto Brook Hollow Parkway and then right onto Center Way. He turned left onto Oakbrook Parkway, right on Pirkle Road, and then left on Singleton Road. Officers were using their patrol cars to block traffic. After turning onto Singleton Road, the pursuing front loader made contact with the suspect and flipped the vehicle onto its side.

The pursuit came to an end on Singleton Road and Robin Hill Drive. This is approximately five miles from the original incident location. The suspect, 38-year-old Eddie Sanchez was removed from the cab of the front loader and placed under arrest. He was evaluated at a local hospital prior to being booked into the Gwinnett County Jail. He was charged with Criminal Trespass, Theft by Taking, Fleeing or Attempting to Elude, Reckless Driving, Criminal Damage to Property 2nd Degree, and Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer. While investigating the incident, the reporting officer learned that Sanchez was terminated from the business in September 2023. He visited the business several days prior and did something similar but never left the property. During this entire incident, no motorists were injured, nor were any vehicles or patrol cars damaged.

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