GRIDLEY, Calif. - A Gridley man has been sentenced to five years in state prison for theft and violence.
District Attorney Mike Ramsey said John Pilgram stole a truck outside an auto-body shop in Gridley in July. The owner of the truck and his co-workers inside the shop heard the truck start up and rapidly accelerate away. The truck owner discovered his keys had been taken from atop a toolbox inside the shop, Ramsey said.
The owner and co-workers got into a work vehicle and raced after Pilgram in the stolen truck, Ramsey said. The stolen truck briefly stopped to avoid a collision with another vehicle. The truck owner ran to his truck and opened the driver's side door, Ramsey said.
When the owner tried to stop him, Pilgram sped off dragging the owner along as the owner hung onto the door. Pilgram continued to rapidly accelerate the truck past 45 miles per hour. The owner was able to release himself from the door and fell onto the pavement, Ramsey said.
The victim's injuries required surgery. He suffered severe road abrasions over most of his body, a significant head laceration, a dislocated shoulder, and injured his hip, Ramsey said.
Pilgram told investigators he stole the vehicle to sell it and buy heroin, Ramsey said.
Ramsey said Pilgram had a previous DUI conviction, and he was involved in a fistfight in jail.
Ramsey said Pilgram was ordered to pay $27,053.17 in restitution to the victim to cover damage to the truck and medical and lost wage expenses incurred by the victim.
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