A 44-year-old Reddick man was arrested by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office after a victim used a cell phone app to track the location of a stolen truck.
On Tuesday, an MCSO deputy responded to the 18600 block of NW 53rd Court Road in Reddick with reference to a stolen Ford F-550 truck. Before the deputy arrived, the MCSO discovered that the male victim who owned the truck was able to track his location on his cell phone.
The MCSO report said the vehicle was following in the area of Highway 40 and 27th Avenue SW in Ocala. The deputy notified the Ocala Police Department and other MCSO deputies to be on the lookout for the vehicle in that area.
Upon arriving at the scene of the incident, the deputy made contact with the victim. He told the MP he was working on his farm when he discovered his truck was missing from the property.
According to the victim, no other person was authorized to use the truck. The victim said additional items on his property had been tampered with, but the vehicle appeared to be the only thing missing.
The victim continued to track the vehicle on his cell phone and provided updates to the deputy and MCSO dispatch. A relative of the victim was helping locate the stolen truck and successfully located the vehicle in the 100 block of SW Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Ocala.
The victim’s relative contacted the man driving the vehicle and ordered him out. The man, later identified as Joshua Bryant Hibbard, exited the truck and a physical altercation ensued between Hibbard and the victim’s relative.
Several OPD and MCSO units arrived at the 100 block of SW Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, and Hibbard was detained in handcuffs.
The deputy who had spoken with the victim also arrived on the scene and made contact with Hibbard. After reading his Miranda rights, Hibbard confirmed that he drove the victim’s truck.
Hibbard claimed he was unaware the truck was stolen. He told the deputy that a man named “Chris” met him in the Reddick area and gave him the vehicle to use for the day. According to the MCSO report, Hibbard was unable to provide any further information regarding “Chris.”
The MCSO report said the victim’s truck had a broken driver’s side front window and glass was in the front seat. The passenger side of the vehicle, including the front passenger side sill, was also damaged.
A dark colored bag was on the passenger floor and a blue bicycle was on the back of the truck. The victim told investigators that the items did not belong to him.
When the deputy questioned Hibbard about the bag and the bicycle that were found, Hibbard confirmed that both items were his. He also told the Deputy Minister that he had not noticed the broken window and was unaware that there was glass on the seat.
Hibbard was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $25,000 bond. He faces a felony charge of grand theft of a motor vehicle.
A court date has been set for Tuesday, October 11 at 9 a.m., according to prison records.