Catoosa County sheriff's detectives are searching for a burglary suspect who drove a truck through the front entrance of gas stations on back-to-back days just before burglarizing each one.
According to the Sheriff's Department, the bizarre burglary tactic began Monday night, Sept. 25, when deputies learned that a man had driven a truck through the front door of the One Stop Tobacco shop at 1218 Lakeview Drive in Rossville.
Just after 9:45 p.m. that day, deputies arrived at the scene to find the damaged storefront and viewed surveillance footage that showed a black early 1990s model Ford Ranger pickup truck drive into the front doors.
The driver was a white male, approximately six-feet tall with a medium build, appearing to be in his mid to late 30s. The man was wearing a white and blue ball cap, a dark-colored T-shirt, blue and white plaid shorts, and flip-flops, reports show.
"The truck ran up to the door and attempted to gain entry," Deputy Zachary Roden said. "The driver was unable to make entry, so he returned to the truck and drove through the doors again."
The suspect grabbed multiple sheets of lottery tickets from the counter near the register, and then hopped in the truck and fled down Lakeview Drive.
Video footage showed what appeared to be a white female passenger in the truck as well.
Approximately seven hours later, the Sheriff's Department received another burglary call, this time at 141 Ga. Highway 41 near the state line.
The second incident occurred at the Sunset Market, and unfolded in a similar fashion with a truck being driven through the front door.
Capt. Chris Lyons says the department believes both burglaries were committed by the same man.
"We do think they're related incidents," Lyons said. "We have the same details at both scenes, and the same type of truck driving into the stores."
Like the first burglary, the suspect stole only lottery tickets from within the store.
Anyone with information about the burglaries or the suspect is encouraged to contact Detective Daniel Thacker at the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department at 706-935-2424.