McCreary Sheriff Randy Waters reported that shortly after midnight on September 1, 2021, a gray International truck with a white tool box had been stolen from Jones Farm Supply in Whitley City. Sheriff Waters and Deputy Dustin Ridner went to the Farm Supply to gather information, learning the truck had traveled north on U.S. Hwy 27. Calls to 911 reported the truck had been seen on Peel Dogwood Road and in the Mill Creek Road area.
Sheriff Waters and Chief Deputy Tom Smith drove through both areas looking for the truck. Later, in the early afternoon, Sheriff Waters drove back to the Mill Creek Road area where he received a call from 911 stating that the stolen truck had been traveling off Peel Dogwood Road onto Sandhill Road and had struck a vehicle in the rear, pushing it off the road. The 911 caller reported the stolen truck was seen continuing east on Sandhill Road.
Sheriff Waters drove to the intersection of Sandhill Road and Beulah Heights Road blocking the intersection to stop the stolen vehicle. Another caller to 911 stated that the truck had turned onto Thunderstruck Road before reaching the intersection. The stolen truck, with the Sheriff a few minutes behind, traveled on Thunderstruck Road until it stopped just before reaching the Cumberland River. The two occupants in the truck jumped out and fled on foot into the heavily wooded area.
Later, in the early evening, another caller to 911 reported seeing one of the suspects on Thunderstruck Road. Deputy Ridner, who had been working in the same area, detained the suspect until Sheriff Waters arrived a few minutes later.
Sheriff Waters arrested James N. Perry, age 35, of Whitley City, KY and charged him for the alleged offense of Theft by Unlawful Taking/Auto – $500 or more but under $10,000. Perry was lodged in the Knox County Detention Center. This is an ongoing investigation with the McCreary County Sheriff’s Office in charge.