Police: Suspect steals utility truck with worker still in bucket

Police: Suspect steals utility truck with worker still in bucket
The bucket truck was towed from OTR (FOX19 NOW)
Dennis Smith (Hamilton County jail)
Dennis Smith (Hamilton County jail)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A public works employee went for an unexpected ride while putting up holiday decorations in the Village of Elmwood Place Friday.

Dennis Smith, 45, stole a utility truck while the employee was still in the bucket, Elmwood Place police said.

The suspect led police on a short chase before officers caught up with him in Over-the-Rhine near Vine and McMicken streets around 10:50 a.m.. Police used stop sticks to flatten tires on the stolen truck.

Smith is charged with kidnapping, theft of a motor vehicle and failure to comply with a police officer.

Witnesses said the worker was in the bucket hanging Christmas lights when the suspect drove off in the truck.

The employee called another village worker, and that person then called 911.

"We just got a call from our maintenance worker, he is in our bucket truck on Vine Street and somebody stole the bucket truck," the caller told dispatch.

The village worker was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Police said the incident is being treated as an abduction and the investigation is ongoing.

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