Big Red Truck Thief

Published 3:07 pm Monday, March 11, 2019

A Tazewell man remains in jail after he was caught trying to steal a fire truck from the Tazewell/New Tazewell Fire Department.

Johnathan Scott Rodriquez, 30, is charged with attempted theft over $250,000, aggravated burglary, and theft under $1,000.

Tazewell Police Officer Andrew Sturgill responded to a call from a concerned citizen about a man allegedly acting suspicious walking between Catdaddy’s Market and the fire department.

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The concerned citizen reported that the suspicious male was wearing a camouflage jacket over dark gray sweatpants.

According to the report, Sturgill was circling the parking lot looking for the male when he noticed a garage door open at the fire department. The headlights on the ladder truck were turned on. He went inside the fire department to speak with someone when he then realized the engine to the ladder truck was running.

Sturgill approached the truck and saw there was a man sitting in the driver seat. The man was wearing a camouflage jacket.

The officer asked the man behind the wheel if he was a member of the fire department to which he answered no, but that the chief told him he could check out the trucks.

Officer Sturgill placed the man in the back seat of his patrol car and went to speak with the fire chief.

Fire Chief Josh Miracle, who lives at the fire station, stated that he did not know the man nor did he give the man permission to be inside of the building.

Rodriquez was placed under arrest and taken to the Claiborne County Jail.

When they arrived at the jail, Rodriquez was searched and officers found a fire department gas card in his possession and a brown rolled cigar with a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.

Rodriquez remains in the Claiborne County Jail on a $250,000 secure bond.