A Minden man is behind bars because he forgot to check the gas gauge before driving away in a stolen vehicle.
Charkendrick Mims, 25, of the 100 block of W. Roosevelt, was arrested by Haughton Police for driving under suspension, resisting an officer with false information and as a fugitive from Dixie Inn Police Department.
Once returned to Dixie Inn, Mims was charged with driving under suspension and theft of a motor vehicle.
Dixie Inn Police Chief Jim Edwards said Mims' victim was leaving for work around 4 a.m. Saturday in his 1995 Chevy Caprice.
"The man cranked his vehicle and went back inside his apartment for a minute and left it running," Edwards said. "Somebody (Mims) was out at that time of the morning, saw it, jumped in it and took off."
Edwards, along with Webster Parish Sheriff's deputies responded to the call, and law enforcement officers were reportedly told there was little fuel in the vehicle.
"The sheriff's department had already put out a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) through Bossier SO (sheriff's office) in case Mims went toward Bossier," Edwards said.
While Edwards was interviewing the owner of the vehicle, Haughton Police officers were at a truck stop along Interstate 20 at Haughton.
"They heard the BOLO, and they saw this guy sneaking around the truck stop with a gas can," he said. "So, they stopped him and by investigating, learned he was driving the stolen vehicle.
He told them he had run out of gas on the interstate."
At that point, Edwards said, Haughton Police realized the connection and the vehicle and its lack of fuel were corroburated by the owner.
"They arrested him as a fugitive from Dixie Inn and put him in jail," said the chief. "We wrapped up the entire case within 30 minutes – an hour at the most – from the time the vehicle was stolen until the time the suspect was in custody and taken off to jail.
"If you're going to steal a car, you better steal one with gas in it because he didn't even make it to Haughton," Edwards advised. "A lot of credit goes to the Haughton Police Department. They were really alert, and it helped us out a lot."
Edwards said he is convinced the thief was on his way to Shreveport to a "chop shop" with the vehicle because it sported a "unique paint job and big rims."