21-year-old Bessemer man arrested, charged with stealing trucks and ATVs in Athens following high-speed pursuit

WAFF 48's D'Quan Lee reporting
Published: Aug. 2, 2023 at 11:10 PM CDT
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ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - What started as brash thievery at the Champion Dodge and Chevrolet dealership in Athens ended as a high-speed pursuit in Cullman. Twenty-year-old Tywon Wyatt and three unidentified accomplices made off with two high-end trucks and two ATVs from the dealership.

They broke in by smashing the window of the dealership office, crawling on their hands and knees to avoid surveillance cameras. Their getaway was just as brazen.

“Burglaries are pretty common, but actually stealing ATVs and going down the interstate driving them is something we don’t see much of at all,” said Athens investigator Jonathan Caldwell.

Caldwell said surveillance footage showed them everything they needed to get a warrant.

“It’s easier to identify obviously if you catch them in the vehicle or in this case the ATV,” he continued. “And with that surveillance video, we were able to show they were at the scene showing they did take it from our area.”

But the chase didn’t start until Morgan County deputies were alerted to reckless drivers on I-65.

Deputies say they then used spiked strips on the ATV. Wyatt was caught, but his partner escaped by running away.

Police believe these thefts could be part of a larger theft ring in which high-end vehicles are stolen from dealerships and then shipped overseas for a high price.

Meantime, to this point, there haven’t been any new details regarding the suspects who got away.

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