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Stolen Fire Engine Leads to Wild Pursuit Through Five Counties

Rio Linda -- A Sacramento Metropolitan Fire engine was stolen Saturday afternoon and the driver led multiple law enforcement agencies on a wild chase through five counties as the fire engine traveled north on Highway 65.

Earlier in the day, Metro Fire responded to a vegetation fire in the Rio Linda area. The fire engine was stolen from the scene, according to Chris Vestal, Metro Fire's public information officer.

The stolen fire engine was immediately reported to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

The fire engine made its way through North Highlands to Highway 65, eventually ending up on Highway 70 in Butte County. There it was stopped by CHP officers after they laid down spike strips, blowing one of the tires out.

Two suspects, one male and one female, were taken into custody.

FOX40 was able to talk to the suspects after they were apprehended. The male suspect said they stole the truck because they were "trying to get some help." He said the "door was wide open" when he found the fire engine.

The two suspects at the time of their arrests.

The female suspect said she was kidnapped stating that, "[the male suspect] told me he would kill me if he didn't get mental health help." However, law enforcement officials say they saw her willingly get into the fire engine.

"We found out that we actually had a task force officer that was there when the fire truck got stolen and watched it drive down about a mile and the driver, the male, honked the horn twice in front of a house. A female ran out of the house and jumped into the passenger seat of the fire truck. So, he picked her up," CHP Sergeant Brian Wittmer told FOX40 at the scene of the suspects' arrests.

Officials say they're looking into whether drugs, alcohol or the suspects' mental states played a factor in the theft and subsequent chase.

"We're still looking into that," Wittmer said. "All of those indications are there."

The fire engine and all of the equipment is worth around $1 million, according to Vestal. He says though there was not much damage done to the inside of Engine 111, it will still need a lot of "bodywork." This is the first time Metro Fire has been a victim of a theft like this.

No injuries were reported.