Police: Suspect in truck theft may have had help

The driver of a tractor-truck who led police on a high-sped chase from Duncansville into Huntingdon County might not have acted alone, police said.

Leonard Casseo Ellis, 35, Mount Union, was arrested Sunday after police said he stole a truck-tractor from a Duncansville company and fled east on Route 22.

Police are still searching for individuals who might have helped Ellis. They were last sighted Sunday evening on foot near Logan Town Centre.

On Sunday, scanner reports indicated police were searching for a red Mustang convertible believed to have been driven by an alleged accomplice. Officers discovered the abandoned vehicle in a Logan Town Centre parking lot.

Police said no additional arrests have been made in the case.

The owner of Burchfield Truck Sales on Route 764 near Duncansville said the company’s security officials spotted multiple individuals tampering with the truck-tractor about 4 p.m. Sunday.

“We’ve been here 31 years,” David E. Burchfield Sr. said. “We’ve never had this kind of problem.”

Burchfield security followed the truck through Duncansville and alerted authorities of the theft, Burchfield said.

Police said Ellis drove across road medians, struck multiple signs and ran multiple stop signs and red lights during the resulting chase.

State police twice deployed tire deflation devices in Huntingdon County. Ellis managed to avoid the first set, but the front passenger-side tire hit the second. The tire eventually came off, but Ellis continued driving, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.

Ellis eventually turned onto Piney Ridge Road in Huntingdon County and nearly rear-ended another vehicle, police allege.

Following the near-crash, Ellis exited the vehicle and was arrested by state police.

The truck sustained heavy damage during the chase including damaged rims, a bent front bumper and a damaged hood, Burchfield said.

Burchfield said he would not know the full extent of the damage until the truck was returned to the company.

Ellis remained in Huntingdon County Prison Monday evening in lieu of $100,000 bail.

In addition to a laundry list of charges in Huntingdon County including recklessly endangering, receiving stolen property, fleeing and eluding and numerous traffic violations, Ellis faces multiple criminal charges in Blair County.

Allegheny Township police have charged Ellis with theft and unauthorized use of motor vehicles, said Allegheny Township Police Chief P. Richard Books, adding that additional charges could be filed.

Ellis was also driving with a suspended license and failed to use a seatbelt, according to his arrest papers.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 8:45 a.m. May 7 before Huntingdon County Magisterial District Judge Douglas L. Gummo.