An Augusta teenager faces criminal charges after allegedly stealing a pickup truck, crashing it on Tasker Road and then fleeing the scene on foot.

The 15-year-old boy was arrested moments after the crash on charges of theft by unauthorized use of property, operating a vehicle without a license and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Police withheld the boy’s name because he is considered a juvenile.

August Police Lt. Christopher Massey said a Monroe Street resident called police around 3:50 a.m. Sunday to report his 1990 GMC pickup truck had been stolen, Massey said. The owner had last seen the truck around 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

A short time later, a Kennebec Journal newspaper carrier discovered the truck crashed into a tree on Tasker Road, Massey said. The teen, who was not injured, fled the crash on foot. Police found him a short distance from the crash.

“He was located walking away from the crash scene,” Massey said.

Zach Gimpel, who has delivered Kennebec Journal newspapers for a few years, said the truck was crashed into a tree when he came upon it near the end of Tasker Road. He said windows were shattered, there was a smell of leaking gasoline and the truck bed appeared to have been dislodged by the impact.

“He must have hit that thing at quite a clip,” Gimpel said Monday. “I was concerned someone was still in there.”

Gimpel, who said he used to work as an emergency medical technician, searched the truck and then the surrounding area when he found there was nobody inside. He called police and waited until they showed up. He said he listened to police talking about the incident on his remote scanner as he continued his newspaper route.

“I was listening in and realized how much trouble this kid’s going to be in,” Gimpel said.

Massey said inexperience likely contributed to the crash. He said the teen was unfamiliar with the dirt road and did not know the truck owner.

“I think it was a crime of opportunity,” Massey said.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

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Twitter: @CraigCrosby4