BURKE COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A truck that was used in an ATM theft in Burke County is the same truck that was stolen by three Florida jail escapees, deputies with Rowan County said Wednesday.
Investigators say the truck the thieves were using appears to be one that was stolen in Georgia as the men passed through while eluding authorities.
The Burke County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday they were notified that the two men caught on surveillance video stealing an ATM from a Shell Station on Old NC Highway 10 around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning are likely two of those escaped inmates.
Deputies say those men - Joel Cooper and Donald Cotterman - are still wanted and should be considered armed and dangerous. Officials say the men may be in possession of an AR-15 and a 22-style rifle.
Surveillance video from the store shows two men using a logging chain to load the ATM into the back of a white four-door work truck. The logging chain was left behind at the scene, deputies say.
The men left the store heading in an unknown direction.
Burke County Sheriff's Major Banks Hinceman says he thinks the selection of that store by the crooks was a random event, but from the video evidence he does believe the escapees were involved.
At 2:04 p.m. Tuesday, the ATM was found abandoned near a business on I-40 in Marion. Surveillance video shows two men in the same truck used in the earlier theft driving behind the business then leaving a short time later.
On Tuesday, one of the three inmates who escaped from the county jail in Florida was captured in Rowan County after an anonymous tip. Casey Brandon Martina, 25, was arrested by deputies in the 100 block of Austin Street in Rowan County just after 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday. He was reportedly found by deputies sleeping on a couch in a living room of a home.
When deputies searched Martina, they found the keys to a car in his pocket. The Rowan County Sheriff said they discovered the keys were to a 1999 black Jeep Cherokee stolen out of Virginia.
The Jeep was parked outside of the mobile home. Inside the Jeep, deputies found toolboxes, hardware, and broken locks. Deputies also discovered two boxes of ammo. No weapon was found in the Jeep.
Martina is charged in Rowan County with possession of a stolen vehicle and as a fugitive from justice.
The Wakulla County, Florida, sheriff's office said that the three inmates managed to break through the ceiling of the jail's law library and then got out by going across the building's roof. This happened around 12:09 a.m. on Friday at the Wakulla County Jail.
There is no word on the whereabouts of the other two men, Joel Cooper and Donald Cotterman, and no word on why Martina was in Rowan County.
Martina was being held in the Florida jail on charges of burglary, theft, vehicle theft, and criminal mischief.
His bond was set at $250,000.
The truck the men still being sought are driving is white with an oversized bed like would be used as a landscaping truck. There are green panels on the side of the bed.
Officials caution anyone who spots them not to approach them, and to "Let law enforcement handle the situation."
Anyone who sees Cooper or Cotterman or has information on either's whereabouts should call 911 immediately.