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Company recaptures stolen tow truck in chase and crash
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UPDATE: The second suspect was caught and arrested as of Tuesday morning. Russell Shane McElreath, 29, of Monroe, was arrested at Rockdale Plaza by Conyers Police around 6 a.m.

The first suspect, Robert Gene Lowe, 45, of Decatur, and McElreath are charged with felony theft by receiving and are in custody at Rockdale County jail.

Lowe told police he had been picked up in Decatur an hour before the chase and wreck and only knew McElreath as "McLovin." He described him as biracial.

Deputies and officers reportedly spotted a suspect matching McElreath's description near the Forest Villa and Pinedale neighborhoods near Irwin Bridge Road walking near the power lines, but the suspect took off running. Police spotted the suspect in the Rockdale Plaza shopping center off of West Avenue around 6 a.m. and after being identified as McElreath, the suspect was arrested.

Walton County Sheriff's Office is investigating the grey Accura, which was reportedly stolen out of Walton County, as well as the tow truck. The gold Chevy pickup that fell off the tow truck bed was stolen from an Ellenwood resident Monday.


When a Loganville company's signature rollback tow truck - custom painted with blue streaks on red - was stolen in broad daylight, the employees of Leadfoot Transport took matters into their own hands.

"Honestly, it pissed us off," said owner Chad Roberts. "We wanted it back."

An employee had parked the tow truck in front of the Dollar General in Loganville on Ga. Highway 81 around 5 p.m. Sunday when thieves hopped in and took off.

Roberts and his employees reported it to the Walton County Sheriff's Office. But they didn't just sit back and wait. Most had come from a repo background. They knew how to hit the streets to find what they were looking for.

Driving their personal vehicles to search for the distinctive truck, an employee finally first spotted it Monday. The employee was driving on an overpass and spotted the truck heading eastbound on Interstate 20, with a grey Accura on it.

A short time later a friend called Roberts to report that he was driving next to it on I-20.

Another employee saw it in Conyers and began following it. By this time, the truck already had a different vehicle loaded on it, a 1996 gold Chevy pickup. Roberts was in contact with Investigator Simmons from the Walton County Sheriff's Office, who contacted local law enforcement. Officers also began following the truck and began blocking its routes.

The truck turned onto Irwin Bridge Road into the parking lot of Irwin Bridge Road Inn. The gold pickup rolled off the bed crashing into a parked car and the tow truck rolled into the grass and into a fence.

The suspects jumped out and began fleeing. Rockdale County Sheriff's Office deputies and Conyers Police were able to catch one suspect. Another suspect remains on the loose as of Monday evening.

Although the tow truck is missing a fork lift that was on it, Roberts said he was glad to have it back and to have one of the suspects caught.

"Thanks to Ty and the Leadfoot crew, Rockdale County Sheriff's (Office), Conyers PD, and GSP, and Investigator Simmons of Walton County Sheriff's (Office)..." wrote Roberts on his company's Facebook page. "Special thanks to all of you who helped share our post and get the word out about our truck being stolen. We can't thank you enough."



Conyers and Rockdale law enforcement caught two suspects and are on the hunt for an escaped suspect from a chase of a stolen tow truck that crashed at Irwin Bridge Road Monday afternoon.

According to a Conyers Police spokesperson, earlier in the day the Walton County Sheriff's Office had issued a lookout for a distinctly-marked tow truck that had been stolen off Ga. Hwy 81 in Walton County. A driver reportedly spotted the flatbed tow truck in Conyers on Eastview Road and Rowland Road and alerted dispatchers.

Officers followed the truck down Main Street until it and the car it was carrying crashed at the Irwin Bridge Road Inn parking lot.

The suspects got out of the truck and fled on foot. One suspect was apprehended. Rockdale County Sheriff's Office deputies and Conyers Police officers captured one suspect as he fled.

A search perimeter, held by Conyers Police, Rockdale County Sheriff's Office, and Georgia State Patrol, was set up in the Irwin Bridge Road/Main Street road area to search for the escaped suspect. After an hour, the perimeter was called off around 6:10 p.m.

The suspect is described as wearing a baseball cap, dark shirt, glasses, black male in his mid to late 20s, with short hair underneath the cap.

If you have any information on the suspect, call Conyers police at 770-483-6600 or Rockdale County Sheriff's Office at 770-278-8188.