BELLE MEADE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Thanks to quick-acting Belle Meade Police officers, a stolen truck has been recovered, a suspect has been arrested, and police say the case may lead to other crimes committed, including stolen credit cards and car burglaries.
It unfolded Sunday afternoon a stone’s throw from the Belle Meade Police Department. It’s here that License Plate Recognition cameras hit on a stolen pick up out of Metro.
Belle Meade cops were on the truck almost immediately. As the intersection swelled with traffic, the truck slowed and police moved in.
“It’s pretty dramatic, pretty intense there, but you are dealing with folks who are stealing vehicles. There is always the possibility of weapons, or they might fight,” Belle Meade Police Chief Tim Eades says.
Video from one of the LPR cameras showed the stolen truck driving past the police department. LPR cameras snapped a photo of the license plate and it registers as a white Dodge Ram, four-door, a rental truck that was reported stolen from Enterprise rental company in Nashville.
Belle Meade Police Officer Wes Bowker pulled the truck over in a felony stop. He pulled his weapon.
Dashcam from back up Officer Mark Hill shows him also responding, driving past Bowker and aiming his squad car at the driver’s door of the truck.
By that time, police say the two other men in the truck have bailed.
You can hear officer Hill scream commands to the driver. “Let me see your hands.”
The 20-year-old driver, Claricia Schaaf, raises her hands.
The officer commands her to drop the keys out the window and she does so. Then she exits the truck.
Dashcam shows the officer approach the woman, weapon drawn. He calmly places her under arrest.
Off-camera, after being read her rights, Schaff tells police she didn’t know the truck was stolen.
Chief Tim Eades says the LPR technology helped find a stolen vehicle for another jurisdiction. And this case may blossom into other investigations that police are currently working.
“Absolutely. That is where this technology is just invaluable,” Chief Eades adds.
The driver is charged with possession of a stolen vehicle. According to the TBI, this is Schaaf’s first arrest in Tennessee.
Police told News 2 the men who bailed from the truck are still at large.
Metro Police confirmed the rental truck was stolen after the person who rented it left the truck unlocked and the keys on the floor mat.