A driver who was hauling 2 million dollars worth of pharmaceutical drugs and narcotics found that his truck was missing after he parked and left it running outside a Barstow County, Ga. Truckstop.
Around 5:30 a.m Tuesday morning, the driver stopped at a Pilot Travel Center along Cassville-White Road to use the bathroom. He left the cab unlocked, with the keys inside, and when he returned minutes later, his truck was gone.
Investigators speculate that the incident was planned, and the heist was possibly part of a bigger criminal network involved in truck theft.
“A lot of times you hear of trucks taken off the grid, in situations like this, where narcotics get into the hands of individuals who can put them out on the streets.” Bartow County sheriff’s investigator Jonathan White told Channel 2.
The thieves tried throwing off the authorities by hooking up a different tractor to the stolen contraband, but Georgia State Patrol and Bartow County sheriff’s deputies were able to locate them using a tracking device on the trailer.
“Basically on this they had a truck on standby, to swap out that tractor and trailer with another one, and they used Velcro to cover the license tag to conceal the plate and replace it with another,” said Investigator White.
In a slow speed chase down Interstate 75, police followed the rig into an industrial park where the thieves stopped the truck and disappeared into nearby woods.
Drivers interviewed by Channel 2 mentioned that they tend to proceed with extra caution when driving through the Metro Atlanta area, where truck theft is known to be a common occurrence.
“We’re very cautious; very much watch our load anywhere we got. [We] don’t leave them alone anywhere,” truck driver Rick Rusher said.
Authorities are still on the lookout for those behind the heist.