Man arrested after allegedly stealing MBTA van with disabled passenger inside and crashing into cars in O’Neill Tunnel

The man was arrested after a police pursuit. He allegedly struck three cars in the O'Neill Tunnel.

A man allegedly stole an MBTA RIDE van with a passenger inside in Woburn Wednesday afternoon. Transit Police

Authorities arrested a 34-year-old man Wednesday afternoon after he allegedly stole an MBTA van with a disabled passenger inside and later crashed into multiple cars in the O’Neill Tunnel while trying to evade police.

Around 3:30 p.m., an MBTA RIDE driver parked a van carrying a disabled woman near 2 Elm St. in Woburn and got out of the van, Transit Police said in a press release.

Police said they believe the driver left the keys in the ignition, and a man then got in the van and drove towards Boston with the passenger still inside. The passenger responded by calling 911 for help.

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State Police said in a statement that Transit Police alerted them to the alleged theft at 3:42 p.m. Within minutes, State Police said, a trooper spotted the van in the O’Neill Tunnel and tried to stop it.


In the tunnel, the suspect allegedly crashed the van into multiple cars, State Police said. At 3:54 p.m., police found the car at Mercantile Street and Surface Road in Boston.

The suspect allegedly tried to evade police by running into the Bostonian Hotel, State Police said. Troopers searched the hotel for the man, and eventually spotted him hiding in a function room.

The trooper arrested the suspect and turned him over to Transit Police. The passenger in the van suffered non-life-threatening injuries during the incident and was taken to a hospital, Transit Police said.

No one else was injured in the crashes, but three cars were damaged, Transit Police said. Police are still investigating the incident.

No further information, including the suspect’s identity and motive, has been released.


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