Thief steals truck from Polar Plunge, goes on lakefront joyride (video)

The driver tries to turn the stolen truck around after reaching an impassible section of the Lakefront Trail near Ohio Street Beach. | Andrew Coffey

Chicago — A suspect is in custody after a cargo truck was reportedly stolen from North Avenue Beach during this morning’s Polar Plunge event, according to Chicago police radio activity. And the thief’s hapless getaway attempt was partially caught on video.

Workers reported a 24-foot white box truck stolen from the beach area around 8:45 a.m. Sunday. But it was stolen several minutes before that, according to a series of videos tweeted by Andrew Coffey.

His footage shows the stolen truck’s driver heading south on the Lakefront Trail until they reached an impassable section on the flyover near Ohio Street Beach. Watch:

Unaware that the truck was stolen, Coffey helpfully directed the driver back toward North Avenue Beach with a cheery, “Hey, good luck, man!”

Coffey trailed behind the truck and reported that the thief wisely exited the trail through an access gate near Oak Street Beach. He also found a chunk of the truck wedged in a tree closer to North Avenue Beach.

Chicago police tracked the stolen truck’s GPS, and officers arrested the driver near Hollywood and Lake Shore Drive just before 9 a.m.

We’ll share an update if charges are approved.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is