Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Summerville driver reunited with semi truck at Martha Lou’s

Mystery of abandoned truck solved

Posted by Paul Bowers on Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Somebody stole a semi truck from a driver in Summerville, but it didn't make it far. The truck was found parked in front of Martha Lou's Kitchen, a popular soul food restaurant on Morrison Drive, where it had been sitting for four days.

The truck's owner, Jamal Gilliard of Summerville, says he parked his truck in a lot off of I-26 Exit 203 on Friday night, and the truck went missing sometime between then and when Gilliard's wife drove by the lot after church on Sunday and saw it was gone. Gilliard says he suspected that, if he ever did find his truck again, "it was going to be in pieces and parts."

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Instead, the truck showed up in the gravel lot in front of Martha Lou's. Lillie Gadsden, daughter of restaurateur Martha Lou Gadsden, says she saw the truck parked in the lot Friday night, but she didn't pay it any mind because it was a busy night and truckers sometimes park in the lot. Around midday on Tuesday, she finally called police to report an abandoned vehicle. Gadsden says that on Friday night, she also saw a black male in tan pants and a reflective vest arrive in a white station wagon, grab something out of the truck's cabin, and then leave headed north in the station wagon.

Charleston Police arrived on the scene Tuesday afternoon and searched the trailer and cab. A crime scene technician from Berkeley County could be seen dusting for fingerprints on the truck as well.

Finally, around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Gilliard got word about his truck turning up and arrived to reclaim it.

"I thank God I got it back, because I didn't know what I'd do without my truck," Gilliard says.

Gilliard says that while somebody had apparently broken into the trailer, which contained PVC and spools of fiberglass, none of the cargo was stolen. The only damage he reported was a broken side window and a stolen CB radio and antenna.

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