Two Banks County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called out to the parking lot of the T/A Truck Stop Sunday afternoon to investigate the report of two people entering trucks in the parking lot.
Banks County Sheriff Charles Chapman said on the way to the truck stop one of deputies was diverted to an accident scene. The other deputy continued on to the truck stop. Upon his arrival, he reported to dispatch he was out with two males in the back parking lot attempting to break into some trucks.
Shortly after this report, the deputy radioed back to dispatch that he was involved in a foot chase with the two suspects and he was requesting assistance.
Before the second deputy arrived on the scene, the suspects got back into a rented white 2008 Toyota van and exited the parking lot, almost hitting someone.
The van traveled southbound on State Route 15/US Highway 441 going towards Commerce with the Banks County officer in pursuit. The van turned around on SR 15/Hwy. 441 and headed northbound back towards Interstate 85.
The suspects eluded the deputy and got on I-85 traveling southbound. At this point, two Georgia State Patrol (GSP) units got involved in the pursuit. The Banks County deputy withdrew from the pursuit at Exit 137 on I-85.
The GSP units continued in the pursuit, but were not able to locate the van.
A Jackson County deputy saw the suspects throw a bag out of the van while traveling on I-85 and he was able to get the tag number on the vehicle.
The tag number was registered to Betterway Leasing, Atlanta. The BCSO was able to obtain a description of the person the van was leased to, his date of birth, height, weight and home address in Atlanta.
Deputies recovered the bag that was tossed out along the interstate and retrieved several items used in the break-ins. Chapman said the bag contained bolt cutters, tin snips and a tire tool.
Chapman said the Banks County deputy talked with at least three people who had either their truck or trailer broken into at the truck stop.
Chapman said an investigator has been assigned to the case and is actively working on it at this time. No arrests had been made as of press time.
The BCSO investigator has been in contact with the leasing company and was told the van was scheduled to be returned on Sunday, but as of Monday morning it had not been returned. A spokesman for the leasing company said they would notify authorities when the van is returned, Chapman said.
The BCSO is working with other law enforcement agencies on this at this time, Chapman said on Monday.