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Decatur man repaints stolen truck, goes on shoplifting spree, police report

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DECATUR — Police report a Decatur man stole a red pickup truck, painted it white, and then went on a massive shoplifting spree and used the truck as a getaway vehicle when he was confronted by store employees.

Decatur police Detective Jason Danner said both the vehicle theft and burglary happened Sept. 3 and officers tracked the 55-year-old man down and arrested him Oct. 5.

“Officers observed a screwdriver to be jammed into the ignition as well as miscellaneous items used to paint the truck white were in the truck bed,” added Danner in a sworn affidavit.

The owner of the Ford F150 truck, valued at more than $3,000, had already reported it stolen when police got an alert that a vehicle with the same registration had been used in a burglary from the Dollar Tree store at 1447 W. King St.

Danner said store employees heard a rear door alarm go off and looked out to find the man standing outside with two shopping carts and two baskets stuffed with 435 items.

A female employee asked the man what he was doing and he didn’t reply, Danner said. “She stated 'The police are on their way' and he replied ‘I know,’” the detective added. “...He took off in the white Ford F150…”

Danner said when the man was interviewed later he admitted taking the truck, repainting it, and setting out to burgle the store. “When asked, he admitted he parked behind the building because he knew he was going to be coming out of the backdoor,” Danner said.

The man was booked on preliminary charges of burglary, theft and possession of a stolen vehicle. A check of Macon County Jail records Thursday showed he remained in custody with bail set at $75,000, meaning he must post a bond of $7,500 to be released.

All preliminary charges are subject to review by the state's attorney’s office.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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