Men charged with stealing van, leading police on 2-county chase

MILAN, Tenn. — A two-county chase lands two men behind bars, and a local business owner is thankful for the quick work of officers.

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Michael Lowden, left, and Jonathan Triplett

“Pulled up and my van is usually backed up at the door, and it was gone,” Jackson’s Carpet owner Rodney Jackson said.

Thursday morning, Jackson called Milan police when his only work van with all his tools inside wasn’t where he’d left it. After posting a picture of the van on social media, it wasn’t long before his friends spotted it.

“Next thing you know we’re just getting phone calls from everybody saying they’re seeing it on the road or it’s been spotted and we’re calling the police and telling them everything we know,” Jackson said.

Thursday afternoon, Milan police say they caught up with Jonathan Triplett and Michael Lowden with the stolen van, trying to break into a home in Gibson County.

“Two suspects took off in a van, and after a short chase they jumped out of the van,” Milan Police Chief Bobby Sellers said. “The van, they left it in gear and it rolled into a ditch.”IMG_20160826_074430884

In Carroll County, deputies, a Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter and the Gibson County’s K-9 unit helped search for the men.

“One of the subjects hiding in a pond. He was completely submerged in water, had lily pads that were in the pond over his head trying to use that to conceal himself,” Chief Sellers said.

Chief Sellers says if it wasn’t for the Gibson County K-9 Unit and tips from the community, it may have taken a lot longer to locate the suspects and the stolen van. The second suspect was arrested early Friday morning by officers Carroll County. Although the Jackson’s Carpet van was returned, it now has damage to the exterior and steering wheel.”

“We’ve got most of our tools back now,” Jackson said. “[For] some reason they didn’t get to sell it. They caught them fast enough they didn’t sell anything.”

Both suspects are in the Gibson County jail. Their bonds haven’t been set. They’re scheduled to appear Sept. 14 in General Sessions Court.

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