Three Saline County juveniles’ crime spree came to an end in Drew County Thursday following a manhunt for two boys and a girl who allegedly stabbed a Drew County man and stole his pickup truck.
The trio reportedly arrived in Drew County Thursday afternoon in a stolen vehicle which stalled on Deal Road near Ladelle in southern Drew County, according to Drew County Sheriff Mark Gober.
Gober said Bobby Strickland, of Drew County, came upon the juveniles who told him their vehicle had run out of gasoline. Suspicious, Strickland called the sheriff’s office and said they probably needed to send a deputy to “check them out,” Gober said.
Meanwhile, the juveniles overpowered Strickland, stabbing him in the legs, torso and neck before stealing his pickup truck, which contained Strickland’s gun, according to Gober.
When the deputy arrived, he saw Strickland’s pickup truck pull off of Deal Road, onto U.S. 425 and head south. He also saw a car on Deal Road and Strickland lying on the ground.
The juveniles subsequently wrecked Strickland’s truck and fled on foot into a wooded area behind the Lacey Store.
Law enforcement officers from the Drew County Sheriff’s Office, Monticello Police Department, Ashley County Sheriff’s Office, along with Arkansas Game and Fish officials, Department of Emergency Management, a State Police helicopter and tracking dogs from the Arkansas Department of Correction searched the area for the trio, Gober said.
The girl and one of the boys were located and arrested around 3:40 p.m.
Before nightfall, Gober received the third suspect’s cell phone number from the boy’s probation officer then made contact with the suspect by phone and talked him into surrendering.
He was only 300 or 400 yards from where the first two were arrested but had crossed a creek and climbed a tree, Gober said.
He surrendered to Gober and Monticello Police Chief Eddy Deaton shortly after 7 p.m.
“I very much appreciate all of the law enforcement officers who assisted,” Gober said.
Strickland was transported the Jefferson Regional Medical Center where he underwent surgery Thursday night, Gober said.
The juveniles, who are suspected in nine to twelve vehicle thefts, are being held in the Drew County Detention and likely will be charged as adults.