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Truck thief calls police for help after running out of gas

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TUNNEL HILL, GA (WRCB) - Tunnel Hill Police had an unusually easy time tracking down a truck thief Monday morning. After running out of gas, the man called the cops to come help him out.

When 32-year-old Chet Wilcox was stranded near the Tunnel Hill exit off I-75, he did what most people do. He called for help. His call for help was to police, though -- and he was driving a stolen truck.

"Hello, my name is Chet Wilcox. I ended up taking Benny Brookshire's truck... I'm stuck here in Tunnel Hill without gas... I'll be at the gas station in Tunnel Hill," Wilcox's message said.

"That's totally abnormal," said Tunnel Hill Lt. Scott Reneau. "Most crooks aren't going to call in and say 'This is where I'm at, this is what I did. You can find me here. Come get me'."

Reneau initially thought it was a joke, but confirmed the story through authorities in Union County, Georgia, where a man who claimed to be acquainted with Wilcox reported the truck stolen the night before.

The 1988 jeep Comanche was parked in a barn with the keys inside.

"Nowadays with the way violence is going against cops, you have to take it seriously. So we go from having a laugh to actually having to get serious," said Reneau.

Wilcox didn't have any weapons on him, though. He cooperated with officers and was described as "polite."

"I've been up for about 46 hours, sir," Wilcox told police. When asked if he was on meth, he replied "no, sir."

Wilcox said he stole the truck because he wanted to visit "loved ones." Reneau said he also wanted the owner to know where to find his stolen truck -- before Wilcox was booked into jail.

"Hey, if you're a crook, feel free to call 911 or turn yourself in," Reneau said.

Wilcox is being held in the Whitfield County Jail. A bond amount has not been set yet.
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