A Dalton man was arrested Monday after Calhoun police say he stole a truck, abandoned it after the owner gave chase, and then hid in another truck, only to be found with a backpack full of drugs, jewelry, money and tools commonly used for break-ins, police say.
According to Calhoun Police Department records, Joshua Ladane Smith, 35, of 733 Beaverdale Road, Dalton, was charged with two counts of theft by taking, entering auto, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, driving too fast for conditions, failure to maintain lane, possession of meth, possession of marijuana, felon in possession of a firearm and reckless driving.
The incident began Monday afternoon when police say Smith stole a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 from a business on Red Bud Road. The owner of the truck heard the vehicle crank and watched it back away, so he jumped into another vehicle to chase down his truck.
The truck's owner told police that Smith drove his Silverado onto Warrior Path, turned around at Ashworth Middle School, and then drove up and over an embankment while trying to turn onto Timms Road.
Smith abandoned the stolen truck and it rolled to a stop in a parking lot on Warrior Path. An employee at Grandstandz told the owner of the truck that Smith was hiding in the bed of another truck in the parking lot, and the truck owner was able to wrestle Smith to the ground until a Gordon County Sheriff's Office deputy arrived and took custody.
A Calhoun police officer then arrived and took over the scene. That officer found a list of questionable items on Smith and in his backpack, including multiple credit cards in someone else's name, two rings, a necklace, two plastic bags — one containing suspected meth and one containing suspected marijuana — a small screwdriver, several flashlights, a large pry bar and cash.
Additionally, there was a Remington 870 Express Super Magnum gun in the truck Smith took.
The items stolen were returned to the owner, while the other items were turned over to a detective.
Smith was taken to the hospital for evaluation after complaining of head pain and then taken to jail.