A 76-year-old retired Marine passing through Thomasville Monday — Veterans Day — was hijacked at gunpoint and robbed.
The man and his wife, Worth County residents, had been to Tallahassee, Fla., to purchase a used car and were traveling through Thomasville in separate vehicles on their way home.
“He had the GPS (global positioning system),” said Lt. Tim Watkins, Thomas County Sheriff’s Office chief investigator.
The man stopped at a convenience store at U.S. 319 South and Pine Tree Boulevard to wait for his wife.
An armed man approached the vehicle. He and another male got into the car and ordered the victim to drive away.
Watkins said the victim is not sure where he drove, but he traveled through some “unsavory” parts of the city.
“He said he really doesn’t know where he went,” the investigator said.
Eventually, the men told the victim to stop. The thieves took the man’s wallet, removed cash and threw the wallet at him.
“He found his way back to 319 and back to Worth County,” Watkins said.
The victim attempted to call 911, but his cell phone crashed.
Meanwhile, the man’s wife had turned onto the 319 bypass and returned to their Worth County home.
It appears the man was held against his will and forced to drive around for about 90 minutes — from 8:30 to 10 p.m.
Investigators traveled to the man’s home and interviewed him this week. His vehicle was processed for evidence.
Surveillance video has been secured from a store at the 319/Pine Tree intersection.
“It’s bad a veteran got robbed on Veterans Day,” Watkins said.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.