Casey Willer's maroon semi-trailer was stolen from his farm near Lawton, Iowa, on Friday.
LAWTON, Iowa (KTIV) -
Authorities arrested 26-year-old Ivie Popplewell, who was said to be only wearing his boxers at the time he was caught, Friday evening in Ottawa, Kansas, after they say he got into a scuffle with Minnesota police then stole a semi and Pizza Ranch van that day.
One of Popplewell's victims is Casey Willer, who farms just outside Lawton, Iowa. His maroon semi-trailer was parked next to grain bins across from his home. "I heard our trucks engine come to life," Willer added.
He didn't think much of it as it could of been a hired hand taking the truck to get washed. When Willer peeked outside a window, he noticed a yellow Pizza Ranch van in it's place. "I was kind of curious as to why the hired man was driving a Pizza Ranch van," said Willer.
Turns out, it wasn't Willer's hired hand. The van had been stolen from a Pizza Ranch in Sheldon, Iowa, Friday morning just after 11 a.m. Woodbury County deputy Ben Brown says Popplewell is from Winona, Minnesota. Brown wasn't sure as to why Popplewell was in a Worthington, Minnesota hospital. A dispatcher for Worthington Police confirmed the scuffle but deferred further comment.
Brown says Popplewell has a disqualified commercial driving license which means he's capable of driving a semi. He also added authorities in Ottawa found Popplewell wearing only boxers.
Willer says he's baffled how Popplewell made it nearly 300 miles away. "All those weigh scales, DOT stations, I mean to get where he got, he had to of gone by I don't know how many law officials," said Willer.
Though Popplewell is in custody at the Franklin County Jail, Willer's semi-trailer is still missing. Authorities believe it is somewhere between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Ottawa, Kansas.
An electric company in St. Joseph's, Missouri, called Willer Friday complaining his truck damaged a bunch of equipment. "I apologized that happened down at your place but I informed him at that point that that truck had been reported stolen," he added.
That's how Pizza Ranch found out their van was stolen. A driver had called to complain of a reckless driver according to a manager KTIV spoke with. The van has since been returned. That manager claims the front bumper sustained minor damage when it was stolen.
Brown says Popplewell will be charged with car theft in the second degree in Woodbury County. Other charges remain unknown as of Saturday evening.
Ottawa authorities are not releasing Popplewell's mugshot as of Saturday evening.