Judge explains seriousness of crime to moving truck bandit | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Judge explains seriousness of crime to moving truck bandit

Maggie O'Neill

MINDEN – The picnic is over for a Carson City teenager who took a U-Haul truck in July and led police on a 13-hour manhunt.

Roderick Angus MacLeod, 19, faces up to six years in prison and remains in custody in Douglas County jail on $75,000 bail.

In the early morning of July 13, he drove a 24-foot U-Haul truck off a Carson City dealership parking lot, and after police chased him through Carson City, headed up Highway 50.

A 20-year-old passenger jumped from the vehicle before MacLeod began the dangerous drive up 50, where he reportedly crossed yellow lines several times into the wrong lane.

Traffic to Lake Tahoe was shut down for hours as officers began to look for MacLeod, who had jumped from the truck near Glenbrook. MacLeod was eventually found behind a bush, after a homeowner saw him.

District Court Judge David Gamble told MacLeod Tuesday that despite the recommendations at sentencing by the Nevada Department of Parole and Probation and the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, he could sentence him how he sees fit.

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“I’ve got to tell you sitting here talking to you, you’re acting like you’re going to a picnic,” Gamble said.

He asked MacLeod what the prison sentence was for a felony charge of eluding police, to which MacLeod pleaded guilty.

“Six years or something,” the 19-year-old responded.

Apparently, a recommendation could be made by the district attorney’s office that MacLeod attend a discipline program and be put on probation.

“I’m not a high school principal,” the judge said. “I’m a judge and this (charge) can send you to the joint.”

When Gamble asked MacLeod what happened July 13, the teenager said he stole a U-Haul and refused to stop for police.

“I was driving and cops tried to pull me over,” he said. “I didn’t stop.”

MacLeod, when prompted, said he drove from Indian Hills to Carson City and then up Highway 50.

“And then where’d you go?” Gamble asked.

“I jumped out of the truck on foot.”

“And then what happened?” Gamble asked.

“They caught me a few hours later.”

The 20-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos man in the U-Haul truck with MacLeod, Michael Mitchell, is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 22 for a misdemeanor obstructing an officer charge.

Mitchell previously told East Fork Justice Court Judge Jim EnEarl he was high and didn’t know, until MacLeod told him, that the U-Haul was stolen.