A 22-year-old man is in trouble after a stolen Fortis utility truck was taken for a ride from Nanaimo to Campbell River.

On Tuesday, Fortis crews were fixing a gas leak on Brechin Road when a man hopped in one of their trucks and sped off.

Constable Gary O’Brien with the Nanaimo RCMP says an officer nearby helping with traffic heard a worker yelling that someone stole their truck.

“By the time the officer got back to his vehicle, the truck was gone,” O’Brien says.

“We broadcasted the description of the plates and sure enough, within minutes, we had another police car that was situated behind the truck at a stoplight.”

However, when the officer put his sirens on, the man in the Fortis truck hit the gas. He drove over the sidewalk, nearly taking out a street light while doing so, and once again sped off.

“At that point, we realized we weren’t going to chase this guy. The risk to the public was too great.”

O’Brien says officers later saw the truck heading north, so they started following him. The suspect forgot to turn off the truck’s flashing amber lights, so it wasn’t hard to spot.

Nanaimo RCMP trailed him all the way to Campbell River, at which point they turned the case over to the Campbell River RCMP.

O’Brien adds that later that day, the truck was stopped and the man was arrested. He’s now facing charges of possession of stolen property.