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Stolen gun recovered; suspect at large

AULANDER – A hunting rifle taken in broad daylight from a man’s truck has been recovered by Bertie County Sheriff’s officers after it was reported stolen earlier here Tuesday.

Maj. Matt Roebuck of the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office says a man had parked his truck near the Family Dollar store on Commerce Street around 10:30 a.m. As he was inside the store, he noticed a man walking by carrying the rifle which the man said had been secured in his truck’s gun rack.

As the larceny victim gave chase on foot, the Bertie Sheriff’s Office was called and deputies, along with Ahoskie Police Department K-9 Unit Sgt. Cliff Whitby and his dog, Rico, responded to the scene arriving between 11 and 11:30. A search then ensued across the area over the next hour.

According to reports, the suspected thief was last spotted by deputies in a wooded area near a residence between Chestnut and Lombardi Streets.

As officers searched that immediate location, the rifle was located, found stashed in a boat nearby, but the thief was nowhere to be seen and is believed to have made an escape by car.

Roebuck says as of late afternoon on Tuesday, the subject was still at large, though he was not believed to still be armed.

In addition to Roebuck, Whitby, and Rico, others assisting in the chase were Sgt. Harris Williams, Det. William Barmer, Sgt. Martin Phelps, Sgt. Doug Jernigan, Cpl. Roger Blount, and deputies Jonathan Price, Ed Lipscomb, and Greg Atkins – all of the Bertie County Sheriff’s office.