A truck stolen in Missouri catches fire in a muddy field north of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, with the fire spreading to a nearby grassy field on Thursday. Two people from the Omaha, Nebraska, metro area were taken into custody by authorities.
(Photo courtesy of Plattsmouth Volunteer Fire Department/The Journal)
Story by Tim Rohwer, The Plattsmouth Journal
Two people from the Omaha metro area on Thursday were taken into custody concerning a stolen truck that ended up catching on fire that spread to a nearby field off of Oreapolis Road.
According to Plattsmouth Fire Chief Mike Wilson, a call about a vehicle fire off of Oreapolis and Webster Boulevard came in at 5:55 p.m. with 21 firefighters responding. Cass County sheriff’s deputies and the Plattsmouth Police Department also responded.
The truck was in an area that is limited to four-wheel drive vehicles, according to Wilson. “The truck was stuck in the mud and the tires caught fire from spinning,” he said. When the firefighters arrived, the truck, a newer model Ford 250, was unoccupied and abandoned, Wilson said. “The truck fire started the grass fire,” he said. It took about 20 minutes to bring the fires under control, Wilson said, with the truck totally destroyed. There were no injuries, he added.
According to Cass County Sheriff William Brueggemann, deputies learned the truck was reported stolen from Rock Port, Missouri. A female was located trying to get a ride on Webster in the area of Schmidt Trucking with witnesses telling authorities that she told them her brother’s truck was on fire and she left the scene, according to Brueggemann. A passing motorist was observed stopping for the female, and the vehicle was stopped. The female was identified as Brooke Vilcinskas, 21, of Gretna, Nebraska. Deputies located a male walking in the area, who was identified as Jordan Utech, 24, of Bellevue, Nebraska. From the investigation, it was found they were involved with the stolen vehicle. They were charged with possession of stolen property and taken into custody in Cass County Corrections.
Concerning the efforts in putting out the fire, Wilson said, “The alarm was handled with two tankers, two brush trucks, an engine and the newest vehicle in our fleet, the fire gator.” A gator is a utility terrain vehicle that features a skid unit in the back dump box that carries a 70-gallon water tank, gas motor pump, and a place for a basket for patient transport out of limited access areas in assisting EMS/rescue operations.
“We are very fortunate to have all of these tools in our toolbox and a great team of dedicated men and women to use them,” Wilson said.
(Editor’s note: The same night this truck was stolen in Rock Port, a similar-looking truck was taken from a Tarkio residence. That truck and contents have yet to be recovered.)