Four-wheeler thefts rise in the area

Published 11:28am Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a string of four-wheeler thefts that have occurred in recent months, and the department is looking for leads from the public.

In April, four separate thefts occurred spanning Lincoln, Copiah, Franklin and Pike counties, said Lincoln County Sheriff’s Captain of Investigations John Whitaker. Six thefts have occurred in the last two months.

“We had this same problem months ago, but then it stopped,” Whitaker said. “We don’t know why yet, but the exact same type of thefts have started up again,” Whitaker said. “We are hopeful the public has some information about it.”

The Lincoln County thefts have been centered in an area south of Highway 84 and west of Interstate 55, Whitaker noted.

Honda four-wheelers, dating back to 2009 on up, have been the primary models stolen. Because of this, Whitaker speculates that the thieves could be breaking the ATVs down for parts.

“If you have a four wheeler, especially a newer model Honda, I advise caution,” Whitaker said. “Anything that looks out of the ordinary or suspicious, please let us know. If someone you know all of a sudden has a new four-wheeler, but doesn’t have any means of paying for it, this could be suspicious.”

In some cases, the suspect(s) have hitched their vehicle up to trailers with a four-wheeler on top and driven off.

The thefts have occurred late at night or in the day when the owner wasn’t home, Whittaker said.

In September, a man was arrested in Pike County for grand larceny after allegedly attempting to elude sheriff’s deputies on a stolen four-wheeler. Romeo Cordell Tate, 18, of Osyka was arrested in that case.

Whitaker encourages the public to contact CrimeStoppers at 601-823-0150 or the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 601-833-5251 with any information regarding the thefts.