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Authorities pursue suspect in Sunday truck theft

Residents in the Pearlhaven community were inundated earlySunday morning with the presence of police and sheriff’s officerssearching for a man they believe to have stolen a truck earlier inthe day.

A white 1999 Ford F250 four-wheel drive Lariat truck wasreported missing from its parking place on Hill-Behan Road earlySunday morning. Gary Beeson, the truck’s owner, reported thevehicle missing when he went to retrieve it at 7 a.m.

According to a Brookhaven Police Department officer, a slenderblack male wearing black jeans and a white T-shirt was seen gettingout of the truck and running from the scene.

“A sheriff’s officer was at Hill-Behan and saw the truck beingbrought back. He (the officer) saw a black male get out of thetruck and run towards the Pearlhaven area,” said Chief of PolicePap Henderson.

Beeson said a security guard for Columbus Lumber Company saidthe truck was sitting on the lot at 3 a.m. and was probably stolenbetween then and 5 a.m. It was brought back around 9:45 a.m., hesaid.

Brookhaven police officers, with the assistance of the LincolnCounty Sheriff’s department bloodhound, tracked the suspect fromHill-Behan Road through the Pearlhaven area down to EnterpriseStreet to a vacant car. Henderson said the plates of the car havebeen run and officers were continuing the investigation.

Damage to the truck consisted of a broken door to the gas tank,a crack in the rear brake lens and a small dent in the backfender.

“It looks like he probably backed into something,” said Beeson.”He also tried to pry the tag off.”

Beeson thinks the joy-rider went around 115 miles in his truck,since the intruder reset his tripometer and may have even put gasin the truck. He most likely had a passenger since the passengerseat was leaned back, he said.

Henderson said that the police department was continuing itsinvestigation into the theft and expected an arrest would be madewithin the next couple of days.