Police news

Catoosa County sheriff's detectives are investigating a strange auto accident, in which they were called to the scene of a fiery crash only to discover the vehicle to be stolen with no one inside.

Around 2 a.m. on Aug. 8, deputies were dispatched to I-75 near mile marker 347 where they encountered a 1995 Ford pickup truck on fire.

There were no occupants in the truck when it was discovered, and deputies soon learned that the vehicle's owner wasn't even aware that it'd been stolen.

The vehicle owner told detectives the vehicle is a work truck and that the keys were left in it on purpose.

"The owner stated this particular truck is always left in the driveway by the shop with the ignition keys left in the dash so his workers can use the truck while they're working," Deputy Bret Lamountain said.

Georgia State Patrol Post 5 in Dalton handled the accident aspect of the incident, but Catoosa County detectives immediately began checking in with multiple gas stations in the area to see if any video surveillance equipment captured footage of a suspect(s). So far, no footage of the vehicle has been obtained.

Detectives also checked with area hospitals regarding patients that'd possibly been involved in an accident, but came up empty on leads there as well.

Anyone with information about the theft or crash of the truck is encouraged to contact the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department at 706-935-2424.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.