Stolen county truck found in Memphis

Published 2:59 pm Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Panola County Sheriff’s Office investigators have located the county-owned truck stolen from the driveway of Road Manager Bruce Cook’s residence on Sept. 30. The Panolian received the news just minutes before the newspaper was to be printed and no further details were available at the time.

Sheriff Shane Phelps updated the Board of Supervisors on the investigation at last week’s meeting, advising them of techniques being used to determine who the perpetrator(s) are. On Tuesday afternoon Cook reported Phelps had called to let him know the truck had been found. The condition of the vehicle was not known.

The 2020 Dodge Ram, sliver in color, with four doors, was marked with black lettering that identified it as part of Panola County’s fleet of vehicles, and was parked in the driveway at Cook’s residence off Fowler Road.

Cook said he was returning from a family dinner in Hernando when he received an alert on his phone from his home security company shortly after 8 p.m. He called friends to check the property, and on arrival they found the front door damaged and a side door open.

Inside the stolen truck was Cook’s county-issued handheld radio, and locked in the toolbox was a chain saw and a few other small tools. Fortunately, a ring of keys that would have given the thieves access to almost every Panola County government building was not taken during the burglary.

It was not known if any of the property in the stolen truck was recovered.

Because of the national shortage of new vehicles caused by supply chain disruptions associated with the pandemic, customers across the nation are waiting for delivery of cars and trucks ordered up to a year ago. If needed, Cook may not be able to have a replacement truck delivered for several months.

Anyone with information about the theft should contact the nearest law enforcement agency, or call Crimestoppers at 662-209-2011.