Man charged with stealing forklift, damaging pickup

A man reportedly stole a heavy duty forklift and caused $10,000 damage to a pickup after picking it up with the forklift and dropping it.

Israel Vasquez Jr., 42, was arrested and charged Wednesday with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, evading arrest with a vehicle, a third-degree felony and criminal mischief, a state jail felony.

The reported robbery happened at 4:41 p.m. Wednesday at FB Industries located at 1550 S. Industrial Ave., the Odessa Police Department affidavit detailed.

Officers made contact with the reporting party, identified as 49-year-old Michael Miller, and he stated there was a man on a red KALMAR heavy duty forklift that wasn’t allowed to be on it, the affidavit stated.

The man was later identified as Vasquez, the affidavit detailed. Miller stated the man reportedly drove around the lot and had intentionally picked up his white Ram 2500 three to five feet in the air and then dropped it which caused $10,000 in damage.

Miller reportedly attempted to stop Vasquez from taking the forklift and he swung the forklift around to the left and hit him in the back of the knee causing a bruise with the back of the forklift.

Officers located Vasquez in the back of the yard driving the forklift around, the affidavit stated. He was reportedly instructed to stop and get out. Vasquez was asked to exit the vehicle several more times, but refused.

Vasquez reportedly exited the yard in an attempt to take the forklift. He eventually got out of the forklift after breaking the driver’s side door.

Vasquez was arrested, charged and transported to the Ector County Law Enforcement Center. He has three bonds totaling $95,000 and was still in custody as of Thursday afternoon, jail records show.