Man steals big rig, takes joyride across 3 counties

LOWELL, N.C. — A man took a joyride after stealing a tractor-trailer Tuesday morning through three counties that started in Lowell.

Terry Keesley hit a vehicle on Interstate 485 and Arrowwood Road in Charlotte and kept going, police said.

Keesley was eventually arrested in Tega Cay, South Carolina.

The driver of the truck that was stolen said he often stops at the Lowell Mini Mart and leaves the engine on, and was inside for two to three minutes.

When he exited the mart, his rig was gone.

"I worked third shift and I had a conflict with that guy," clerk Edward Rhyne said.

A clerk called police and they made Keesley leave, but that’s when they said he went across the street, and hours later stole a semi-truck.

"He just jumped up in it like it was his,” Rhyne said. “Put his seat belt on, and down the road he went."

The clerk said the rig lurched as Keesley drove away.

"He's got no remorse for (anybody) because he about hit two cars right there, and they were just blowing the horn and he kept going," Rhyne said.

He told the truck driver, who has been driving professionally for 30 years, his rig was stolen.

"I'm over here at Exit 23 at McAdenville and my truck just got stolen," the caller told a 911 dispatcher.

A motorist then saw the truck hit the vehicle on I-485, and also called 911.

Officers found Keesley and the scratched and dented truck at a shopping plaza on Highway 160 in Tega Cay.

Keesley was arrested and is waiting in York County for an extradition hearing.

Police said he doesn't appear to have a criminal record, but he used to be a licensed truck driver.

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