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Suspected thief catches fire while siphoning gas, crashes truck into garage

Posted Nov 7th 2012 6:59PM

Truck on fire crashes

Stealing gas is a bad idea. Using a homemade electrically-powered device to steal gas from other people's cars is a very bad idea.

Mesa, Arizona police say Herbert C. Ridge was doing just that when his spark of innovation actually sparked and ignited the fuel being siphoned. According to reports, Ridge's shirt caught fire and he rolled in the street in an effort to extinguish the flames. Having no luck, Ridge, still on fire, raced back to his truck for a getaway attempt.

Getting into a vehicle while on fire is not, by the way, a recommended method of extinguishing flames. Ridge discovered this the hard way and, as documented by surveillance camera video, leaped from his now-flaming truck and attempted to flee on foot. The truck also continued its escape attempt.

A neighbour chased after and caught the badly-burned Ridge. The truck, after trying to hide in a nearby house's garage, exploded, damaging the structure and ultimately revealing its poorly-chosen hiding spot. reports that Ridge is recovering from the burns at a local hospital and could face charges of theft, DUI, felony criminal damage and, not surprisingly, possession of dangerous drugs.

Check out a local news video of the spectacle below.


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