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Virginia

Soldier steals 'tank' and leads police on bizarre mid-speed chase lasting nearly two hours

The vehicle resembled a military tank but was in fact an armoured personnel carrier.

A SOLDIER WHO stole an armoured vehicle and led Virginia State Police on a highly unusual chase, which lasted nearly two hours, has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs, unauthorised use of a vehicle and eluding the police.

Joshua Philip Yabut, who is a lieutenant in the National Guard, was arrested after taking an armoured personnel carrier from Fort Pickett, a National Guard training centre, and driving it nearly 100 kilometres to the city of Richmond.

The vehicle was taken at around 7.50pm yesterday and Yabut eventually surrendered to police nearly two hours later, according  to local news outlet NBC 12. There were no injuries or accidents in the pursuit.

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“The adult male driver is now in police custody. The incident is under investigation and charges are currently pending at this time. It sounds like [the driver] pretty much stopped of his own accord,” police spokeswoman Sergeant Keeli Hill said to reporters following the incident.

The military vehicle, which is not a tank, was driven at a maximum speed of about 40mph (65kmh).

Hill added that the suspect was tasered and later identified as a soldier.

Several people shared video footage of the chase on social media and expressed disbelief at what they had witnessed.

“This is INSANE! Someone has hijacked a “Tank-like” vehicle from Fort Pickett and just drove it by our apartment,” Parker Slaybaugh wrote.

Yabut reportedly has more than 11 years of service in the National Guard. He deployed to Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009.

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