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Police: Local man steals forklift to try to get his van out of ditch

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Posted: June 18, 2008 8:40 p.m.
Updated: July 3, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Police: Local man steals forklift to try to get his van out of ditch

Albert Junior West

    A man whom police said took a forklift from a Statesboro construction site and tried to use it to get his van out of a ditch likely would have fared better had he just called a tow truck.
    Instead of towing fees, he now faces traffic charges as well as a felony charge of theft by taking, according to police reports.
    Albert Junior West, 33, Lanier Drive, ended up in a ditch early Wednesday morning on Railroad Bed Road near Brooklet, according to Statesboro Police reports.
    That's not the Statesboro Police Department's jurisdiction, but a Bulloch County Sheriff's deputy called Statesboro Police officers because West was in possession of a forklift that had been taken from a construction site on Commerce Drive behind Holiday Inn, reports said.
    The forklift belongs to Lavender and Associates.
    Bulloch County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Gene McDaniel said West was using the forklift in an attempt to remove the van when a sheriff's deputy, then Georgia State Patrol Trooper Marvin Welch arrived at the scene.
    When deputies learned where the forklift came from,  they notified Statesboro Police,  who also responded to the scene, reports said.
    Welch charged West  with failure to obtain a new license after 30 days of residency, failure to maintain lane, and no proof of insurance, while Statesboro Police officers charged him with felony theft by taking.
    West was taken to the Bulloch County Jail, where he remained without bond Wednesday evening, according to jail records.
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