Man wanted for stealing “Bucket Truck” leads deputies on a manhu - - Jackson, MS

Man wanted for stealing “Bucket Truck” leads deputies on a manhunt

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: RCSO Source: RCSO
PELAHATCHIE, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Rankin County Deputies and the Pelahatchie Police Department assisted the Richland Police Department in apprehending a motor vehicle thief Monday afternoon outside of Pelahatchie. 

Richland Police had taken a report of a utility company’s bucket truck being stolen sometime over the weekend from their city. 

Around 11:54 this morning, Richland Police received a call regarding the truck being left on the side of I-20 around the 72 mile marker just east of Pelahatchie. 

Rankin County Deputies arrived on scene shortly after receiving notification from Richland and located the truck but found no one inside.  A Richland Detective arrived on scene to process the truck and assist in identifying the suspect. 

Pelahatchie Police received a report, by a local service station, of a white man dressed in all black who walked up to the service station carrying a fuel can trying to purchase fuel.  Pelahatchie responded to the service station but the man ran into a wooded area between Highway 43 and I-20. 

Rankin County Deputies deployed a K9 tracking team into the wooded area and were quickly following a fresh track.  A perimeter was established and more deputies were called to assist in the search.  Rankin SO deployed a UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) and it’s Mounted Patrol Unit to assist searching a wooded area of off Old Wire Road.

The property owner, where the search was conducted, was able to provide personal knowledge of the property layout to deputies.  While deputies were still arriving to the search area, the property owner’s wife contact him stating an individual matching the suspect’s description had just walked out of the woods onto the surface street in front of their residence.  This information was promptly radioed to all officers involved in the search and the individual was immediately taken into custody, without further incident. 

The suspect, 35-year-old Justin Lee Kunkle, did not have any identification on his person and refused to cooperate with deputies at the time of his arrest.  Kunkle was taken to the Rankin County Jail and eventually provided Detention Officers with his identity.  Richland Police confirmed Kunkle was the individual they developed as a suspect. 

Kunkle is being charged by the Richland Police Department with motor vehicle theft and he is being held in the Rankin County Jail under a $100,000 bond.

The manhunt lasted approximately two hours.  

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