Joyriding U-Haul thief off to prison

The man who led authorities on a 2004 high-speed chase in a U-Haul van was ordered to prison for up to four years on Tuesday after he failed his probation.

Roderick Angus MacLeod, 21, of Carson City, admitted to drinking and not maintaining an address, both violations of the probation he received in April 2005.

MacLeod admitted that he stole a 24-foot U-Haul van from a yard in Carson City and went joyriding in it. After being spotted by officers in northern Douglas County, he drove it at high speeds into south Carson City and finally, with officers in pursuit, up Highway 50 to Lake Tahoe before stopping near Glenbrook and running off into the forest. He was discovered several hours later when a resident of the exclusive community spotted him hiding behind a bush.

"This probation looks useless to me," District Judge David Gamble said after MacLeod admitted the violations.

Defense attorney Tod Young said that as long as MacLeod continued drinking, he would not be able to continue his probation.

"It looks that way because my client can't quit drinking," Young said.

Young asked that Gamble modify MacLeod's probation to include drug court so he could get treatment.

"He is not unsalvageable," Young said. "But he is an alcoholic. He has admitted to binge drinking. He does not have the capacity to not take a drink if it were sitting in front of him today."

Prosecutor Derrick Lopez said he agreed with the Parole and Probation recommendation that MacLeod's probation be revoked.

"Parole and Probation has really tried to work with him," Lopez said. "If sent to prison he will still come out at an early age."

Gamble imposed the original sentence of 1-4 years, granting MacLeod 296 days time served.

Lopez said that with the good time, MacLeod would be up for his first parole hearing in 90 days.


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