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DeSoto deputies track suspected truck thief

Samuel Marlowe Eckman
Samuel Marlowe Eckman(WWSB-TV)
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 10:41 AM EST
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DESOTO COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - A Naples man suspected of trying to steal a truck from a DeSoto County ranch was arrested Monday after a chase through the woods involving deputies and K-9 units from two counties, authorities said.

DeSoto County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the DiMare Diamond D Ranch early Monday morning, according to a post on the sheriff’s Facebook page.

A farm employee informed deputies that a man had damaged a work truck and had fled into the woods along the ranch’s western boundary, near the Manatee County line.

Manatee County deputies assisted in the search for the suspect while DeSoto authorities noted an earlier report of an abandoned box truck, which had been towed from a nearby location.

The suspect, identified as Samuel Marlowe Eckman, 35, was found “crouched in a drainage ditch,” with the assistance of a K-9 team and a farm employee, according to authorities.

When being searched, a set of keys to the abandoned box truck, which had been stolen from a Collier County business, was found in Eckman’s possession, deputies said.

Eckman was charged with one count each of attempted grand theft of motor vehicle, unarmed burglary, criminal mischief, and resisting an officer without violence.

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