Driving expert: California semi-truck thief looked experienced

Posted at 9:47 PM, Sep 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-14 01:45:55-04

The man who drove a semi-truck and led California police on an hours-long chase on Tuesdaydrove the big rig like an experienced truck driver, according to the training chief at a Phoenix truck driving school.

"It's not an easy thing," Darlene Weiseburger, the training manager at Southwest Truck Driver Training in Phoenix, said of maneuvering an 18-wheeler.

The truck driver pulled over at a rest stop and peacefully surrendered after the hours-long chase through California'a Inland Empire.

Police identified the truck thief as 48-year-old James Edgley, according to KABC.

ABC15 showed a clip of the chase video to Weiseburger.

"He could have done a lot of damage" if he wanted to, she said. 

Weiseburger said many semi-trucks still have manual transmission. Driving a tractor-trailer through California mountains, which were along the chase route, requires skilled shifting, Weiseburger said.

"It's not like a car, so you can't just touch down on the clutch and decide to go."