A warning for tractor-trailer drivers following robbery

A big warning for truck drivers in metro Atlanta after a big rig driver was robbed while sleeping in the cab of his semi in Butts County.

It happened at an unofficial truck stop behind a Chevron gas station at Interstate 75 and Highway 116 near the town of Jackson late Monday night.

Investigators told FOX 5 News two men burst into the driver’s truck then ambushed him at gunpoint.

Authorities said the lot is an unofficial overflow lot used when other commercial truck stops nearby fill up.

Butts County investigators are searching for a very tall suspect and his shorter accomplice.

The two were recorded at a QuikTrip in Locust Grove, one exit north of the truck stop where late Monday night a trucker was awoken by shaking outside his cab.

“He wakes up to it. Two people climb inside of his truck. He opens the curtains and he’s held at gunpoint, gun to his chest. They ended up taking one of his debit cards and his whole wallet and his cell phone,” said Investigator Johnnie Bryson, with the Butts County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigator Bryson said the men fled in a reddish 2015 Kia Sportage SUV.

He said at gunpoint the trucker surrendered his PIN to them.

“Close to $900. They were taken the withdrawals out of ATM’s out of two different ones,” said Investigator Bryson.

He said the victim unintentionally left his truck door open.

Truck driver Joseph Copeland said he is keenly aware of his surroundings at all times.

“Always check your surroundings, lock your door. Don’t open your door for nobody who’s knocking,” said Copeland.

He said federal law doesn’t allow truck drivers to carry firearms, which in light of the recent robbery of a fellow driver, means alternative protection.

“Hammer, bat, knife,” said Copeland.

Butts County investigators told FOX 5 News they expect the truck stop robbers to strike again.

Victor Henderson told FOX 5 News he always carries a Bible when on the road in his big rig.

“It’s this thing about getting in a truck in the morning, you don’t know if you’ll make it home or not it’s about keeping God first,” said Henderson.

FOX 5 News checked with neighboring counties including Lamar, Newman, and Clayton, where investigators said they do not have any reports of similar truck stop robberies.

The truck driver who was robbed according to the Butts County Sheriff’s Office is from South Carolina and was not injured.