A woman accused of stealing a truck in St. Johnsbury missed court dates in two different courts in the last week for two separate stolen vehicle cases.
Whitney Adams, 35, of Eden Mills, was supposed to be in Lamoille Superior Court on Wednesday to answer to charges of operating a vehicle without owner’s consent and leaving the scene of a crash. The vehicle she allegedly stole on July 27 was parked in St. Johnsbury and belonged to St. Johnsbury resident, Keith Taylor.
Adams had been cited by police to appear for arraignment on Wednesday, but she didn’t show up and an arrest warrant with $200 bail was issued.
A week earlier she was supposed to be arraigned in Franklin Superior Court for a different vehicle theft that reportedly happened in June. She also failed to make that court appearance and an arrest warrant in the amount of $500 was issued.
St. Albans Police reported in an affidavit that Adams took a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt on June 24 that belonged to Jaime Hoben, 36, of St. Albans. According to the report, Adams had been hanging out with Hoben’s brother and while at Hoben’s residence Adams took the car.
“Jaime stated Whitney took her (Jaime’s) keys out of her (Jaime’s) purse, got into Jaime’s vehicle, and drove away,” the affidavit from Office Joseph Clark noted.
About three-and-half hours later Hoben got her vehicle back from Adams.
In the case of the truck stolen in St. Johnsbury, owner Taylor was not so lucky. The next time he saw his truck after it was stolen about 10:30 a.m. on July 27 was in a photo showing it on the side of the road in Stowe with thousands of dollars of crash damage.
Taylor, 42, had parked his blue 2016 Ford F150 extended cab truck in a parking space on Summer Street near his workplace, Classic Designs by Matthew Burak, on the morning of July 27. Soon after he parked the vehicle, Adams reportedly got into it, found the keys on the seat, and drove away. Taylor who was working outside near the vehicle gave chase on foot but couldn’t catch up to it.
The crime was quickly reported to St. Johnsbury Police who issued a be-on-the-lookout alert to local law enforcement.
Taylor also posted about the theft on social media and it was in that space that he discovered the location of his truck and determined who took it. Adams reportedly caused a three-vehicle crash on Route 100 in Stowe early in the afternoon on July 27. One of the victims in the crash took pictures of Taylor’s truck plunged into a ditch on the side of the road and posted the pictures.
“I think I found your truck, Sir,” was the message shared by the victim with Taylor.
Stowe Police investigated the crash and immediately determined Adams had committed the crime of leaving the scene of an accident. She was found walking away from the crash scene. A witness to the crash saw her retrieve items from the truck and leave the area on foot.
According to the police report, Adams initially claimed someone else was driving, but then admitted she was the driver. Police determined that the truck belonged to Taylor, but Adams told them she was given permission to drive it by “her friend Bob Sanders.”
During the crash investigation, Stowe Police were unaware that the truck had been stolen because St. Johnsbury Police had not logged that information into the National Crime Information Center database. That didn’t happen until 2:15 p.m. Police responded to the crash at 1:30 p.m.
Citing Adams for the crimes required assistance from troopers in the Williston State Police barracks.