A man tried to escape custody Tuesday after he allegedly stole a tractor-trailer rig from a southeast Tulsa parking lot to aid in his search for his girlfriend, according to Tulsa law enforcement officials.
Steven Hart, 45, is accused of stealing a Pepsi truck around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday while it was being unloaded at a business near 51st Street and Memorial Drive, Tulsa Police Officer Jeanne Pierce said.
Multiple people, including the driver of the rig and Hart’s girlfriend, called the police to report the theft. His girlfriend told officers Hart stole the truck to look for her, Pierce said.
The authorized driver was in the back of the rig unloading soda when the truck began moving. He bailed out of the trailer and contacted the police.
Hart drove around midtown and east Tulsa, leading police on a brief pursuit, police said.
“The back of the truck was still open, and the lift was down,” Pierce said. “One officer said he was following the trail of soda.”
Police caught up with the rig when it was stopped in traffic near 21st Street and Sheridan Road, where they tried to enter the truck’s cab. But Hart jumped out of the truck, leaving it in gear, which resulted in it rolling forward and rear-ending a school bus, police said. Pierce said no children were on the bus and that the collision was minor.
Police took Hart into custody shortly after that.
At the jail, detention officers took Hart to a "holding cell at taser point" after an alleged escape attempt, according to a Sheriff's Office report. Hart allegedly tried to escape from the jail intake area through the sally port, two sets of locked doors between the booking and pre-booking areas of the jail.
Failing that, Hart allegedly tried to seal himself in the sally port, according to the report.
Hart was booked into the Tulsa County jail on complaints of larceny of an automobile, eluding and a traffic complaint, according to jail records. He was booked on an additional complaint of attempting to escape a county jail after the alleged episode in booking.
Hart is being held in lieu of a $26,000 bond. The bond for the larceny complaint was set at $1,000. The bond for the attempted escape complaint was set at $25,000.