Sheriff’s office seeks vehicle thief

Published 4:18 pm Friday, May 17, 2019

On May 16, Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Sergeant Justin Blackwell responded to a retail business north of Franklinton concerning the theft of a vehicle from the store’s parking lot.

Upon his arrival at the business, Sgt. Blackwell interviewed the store manager who stated she had gone into the parking lot to retrieve shopping carts when she noticed a person, who she believed to be a man, walking alongside the highway. The person was described as wearing a black hooded jacket, black pants, gloves and a white mask covering his or her face. Frightened by what she saw, the manager fled back into the store, locking the door behind her.

She then observed the person enter the parking lot and try to gain entry to her personal vehicle which was locked.   After the unsuccessful attempt to enter the car, the person then went to a nearby pickup truck, opened the door, went inside, cranked the truck, and then drove off in the direction of Mississippi.   An alert was broadcast, but the truck was not located.

The owner of the pickup truck was shopping in the store and admitted that he left the truck unlocked with the keys in the ignition. He was later able to provide the vehicle identification number of the truck. The Sheriff’s Office continues to be on the lookout for the truck and has posted information on the nationwide criminal justice database.

“Whenever you park your vehicle, whether in a parking lot or at home, always remove the keys from the ignition and lock the vehicle,” cautioned Sheriff Randy Seal. “Thieves are always on the lookout for easy prey and an unlocked vehicle with keys inside is an easy target to steal. It is likely the pickup truck is far away from Washington Parish by now and I just hope it surfaces somewhere. As for the person in disguise, let this be a lesson to always be on the alert for any suspicious behavior. If you have cause to be concerned about someone’s appearance or behavior, call the Sheriff’s Office.”