Suspects Caught in Dump Truck Theft

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Update: Lowndes County Sheriff's Office
July 29, 2014

Tuesday afternoon a citizen noticed two individuals near Exit 22 who matched the description of the males who ran from deputies Monday. The citizen called 911 and the search for the two men began again.

A Sheriff's Office canine unit started tracking and soon found one of the men in the woods south of Shiloh Road.

Shortly after the second person was arrested once he came out of the woods on Val Tech Road.

The men were identified as Jessie Atkinson and Justin Johnson. It was learned that Johnson was also being sought out by Newton County, Georgia Sheriff's Office for an outstanding violation of probation warrant.

Atkinson was taken to the Lowndes Coutny Jail and Johnson was taken to the South Georgia Medical Center for treatment of exposure that he sustained during his overnight stay in the woods.

It is anticipated that both men will appear in Lowndes County Magistrate tomorrow afternoon where bond will be considered.

Investigators from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office have been working with investigators from Bibb County where the truck was originally stolen. Both agencies will be working together as this investigation moves forward.

Johnson's photo will be added once he is released from SGMC

News Release: WCTV Eyewitness News
July 29, 2014

The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office have caught the men suspected of stealing a dump trunk in Valdosta yesterday.

No further details are available at this time as to who the suspects are or what their motive was for stealing the dump truck.

The men had been on the run since around 8 a.m. yesterday.

By: Winnie Wright
July 28, 2014
5 p.m.

A manhunt is underway in Valdosta for two men accused of stealing a dump truck.

Law enforcement says the truck was stolen this morning from the Macon area.

Lieutenant Stryde Jones, with the Sheriff's office says they have been searching for the suspects since around 8 this morning when a deputy tried to pull them over.

Jones says the truck eventually exited at exit 22.

Deputies ran the plates and realized the truck was reported stolen, but the suspects took off on foot.

A foot chase began, and then canine units, and a Georgia State patrol helicopter has been assisting in the search.

Their main concern, Jones says, other than public safety is the extreme heat.

Lieutenant Jones said, "Well, we are aided in the fact that this is a wooded area, I said aided, but that's also a hinderance, trying to move through this thick brush; wooded areas up there, that's unknown to most of the people on foot, creates special obstacles, we've also had a good bit of rain recently, so you've got water obstacles to deal with as well."

Jones also says the suspects were two white men who were last seen wearing yellow shirts, one was wearing khaki shorts, and the other was wearing black shorts.

Their search will continue in north Lowndes County near Shiloh Road. If you see anything suspicious, call 911.

News Release: Lowndes County Sheriff's Office
July 28, 2014

This morning, around 8:00 deputies from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office attempted to stop a dump truck traveling south on I-75. The driver of the dump truck refused to stop and it was learned that the truck had been reported as stolen from a construction site in Macon, Georgia. After the truck exited the interstate at Exit 22 and the driver and a passenger both fled on foot. A manhunt was launched and continues as of now. This effort has included the use of canine teams from Lowndes County and a helicopter from the Georgia State Patrol.

Both of the vehicle occupants were white men and wear wearing yellow shirts. One of the men was wearing khaki shorts and the other black shorts. No other information is available related to their identity.

This search is continuing and residents in the area of Shiloh Road in north Lowndes County are urged to remain alert of their surroundings. Anyone who observes suspicious persons or someone not known to the neighborhood is urged to call 9-1-1 immediately.

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