UPDATE: Prize horses stolen, found in separate Walmart parking l - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Prize horses stolen, found in separate Walmart parking lots

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UPDATE: The pair of prize-winning rodeo horses, stolen in their truck and horse trailer from a Walmart parking lot south of Atlanta, have been found. The horses were reunited with their owners on Sunday. 

Family members say both horses were hungry, a little dehydrated and sore from being in their trailer all weekend long, but they're okay and that's all that matters. 

"They're tired, very stiff and sore," Terri Roark says. 

"He's just a little bit skinnier," nine-year-old Weston Roark says. "Before he was bigger and right now he's just a little bit skinnier." 

Both horses were stolen Friday along with the family's truck from the Walmart parking lot in the 4000 block of Bill Gardner Parkway.

Terri Roark tells Channel 3, they were traveling to a high school rodeo in Perry, Georgia, at the time and stopped to get a bite to eat. The trailer was taken within 30 minutes. 

"My daughter called her father, Randy, and she asked where he had moved the truck and trailer," Roark says. "So, whenever he answered the phone he said 'I've not moved the truck and trailer.'" 

Friends and strangers stepped up, helping to search the area. The Roark family says each passing night was heartbreaking. 

"There were a lot of prayers that were lifted up to help recover the horses," Randy Roark says. 

Sunday afternoon, a firefighter spotted the horse trailer abandoned in another Walmart parking lot in Ellenwood, about 30 minutes away. The horses were a bit shaken but okay. 

"She likes peppermints, so I gave her a lot of peppermints," 12-year old Bree Roark says. 

"Thank you, thank you so much on behalf of our children," Terri says. "It means so much to us to bring the horses back home." 

The suspects are still at large. 

If you have any information that can help investigators, call the Locust Grove Police Department at (770) 957-7055. 

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS STORY: (WXIA) - The pair of prize-winning rodeo horses stolen in their truck and horse trailer from a Walmart parking lot in Locust Grove Friday afternoon have been found, police said.

11Alive's Chattanooga sister station says the horses belonged to a family headed to a high school rodeo in downstate Perry, GA. The family stopped in Locust Grove, off of Interstate 75 to eat, when the truck and trailer were stolen.

The theft happened from the parking lot at the Walmart in the 4000 block of Bill Gardner Parkway in Locust Grove between 12:30 and 1 p.m., according to Locust Grove Police.

Police officers told 11Alive News the truck was tracked using an iPhone app to a location along Panthersville Road in DeKalb County before the phone was dumped from the truck on Friday.

Investigators later found the horses, truck and trailer Sunday evening. The horses appeared to be unharmed, police said.

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