Alabama trucker kidnapped

| 6/9/2006

Police in Opelika, AL, are still looking for two men who they say hijacked an owner-operator’s tractor on the morning of June 5 – while holding the trucker hostage for five hours.

Police say 59-year-old Charles Kidd, of Opelika was getting ready to hook up his tractor to a dry van when he was approached by two men.

Capt. Allan Elkins with the Opelika Police Department said, at first, the two suspects made small talk about trucking, but that changed quickly.

“At one point in the conversation, suspect one pulls a pistol and holds him at gunpoint, while the second suspect duct tapes him,” Elkins said.

“With his arms behind his back, they force him into his truck and place him in the sleeper cab … they back up to a flatbed trailer … where they steal it.”

Elkins said the tractor – now pulling a flatbed with $9,000 worth of lumber – was driven to a location in or near Newnan, GA – about 75 miles from Opelika.

The lumber was off-loaded while Kidd remained bound and blindfolded in the sleeper berth.

Then one, or both, of the suspects drove to another, remote location and left – telling Kidd not to move for 20 minutes.

Elkins said Kidd eventually freed himself and contacted police.

Kidd was unharmed – but told a local TV reporter he spent a lot of time praying during the ordeal.

The only descriptions of the suspects is that they were black males, 6 feet or taller, one in his 20s, the other in his 30s, and both wearing jeans, red shirts and red ballcaps.

– By Reed Black, staff writer