HOCKING COUNTYT – On Saturday, July 6th, the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office received a call stating that a large John Deere forklift front end loader was utilized to flip a vehicle over on Main Street in Murray City.
Witnesses stated that the vehicle then fled north on State Route 216 where it struck another vehicle as it sped away. A witness was able to follow the front end loader which pulled into the Murray Timber and Log Company and the operator fled on foot into the woods.
Deputies with the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office and Troopers with the State Highway Patrol responded to the area and began searching for the driver. The suspect, later identified as Carl H. Williams III, 26 of Glouster, was apprehended a short time later without incident.
A joint investigation was conducted between the Sheriff’s Office and State Highway Patrol into the incident. Evidence was collected and an interview was conducted.
Williams admitted to stealing the front end loader, valued between $60,000 and $80,000 from Murray Timber and Log Company, where he was an employee. He also confessed to purposely damaging the car he flipped, which belonged to a female acquaintance of his.
Williams was charged with Theft of a Motor Vehicle, a Felony of the 4th Degree, and transported to the Regional Jail to await his arraignment in Hocking County Municipal Court.
Additional charges for Criminal Damaging, Leaving the Scene of an Accident and Operating a Vehicle under the Influence of Alcohol are likely to be presented to the Hocking County Grand Jury at a later date.