Eddie Dixon, owner of Sew Creative Upholstery and U-Haul on Lander Avenue, says he has identified the person responsible for a lengthy string of gasoline thefts from U-Haul trucks on his property.
“His name is Burgess Brown and his street name is 'Bird Dog,'” said Dixon. “The whole town has rolled over on this guy and now he is in hiding. He has a tattoo on his neck that says 'Red Neck.'”
Strangely enough, Dixon said that Brown is the same person who was stealing gas from his trucks in 2010. In recent months the gas thefts began again- ranging from 5 to 30 gallons a night.
Dixon says he caught Brown red-handed at about 6:40 p.m. last Wednesday night. After trying to confront him, Dixon says Brown took off in his truck, a light blue truck with wide wheels, dark hood and vertical stripes on the sides of bed. The first three characters of the truck’s license plate are 6X5
Dixon says that when Brown sped off he damaged his rear bumper on a railroad tie barrier, causing sparks to fly as he pulled away. Dixon decided to give chase and pursued the alleged thief through the streets of Turlock.
“At one point he passed Wakefield Elementary going 100 miles-per-hour and he was blowing through red lights going 80 miles-per-hour down Main Street. Finally I backed off because I didn’t want to risk killing someone over this. I couldn’t live with that on my conscience,” said Dixon.
In recent days, Dixon has learned Brown’s address. He says Brown allegedly lives at his girlfriend’s home, which has been without power for the better part of a year. This is why Dixon believes Brown is stealing gas from his trucks.
“They run generators all day and night, so they need all the gas to keep them going,” said Dixon. “Total trash – it’s time someone took out the trash. At first I thought, 'Well, maybe he is just down on his luck, lost his job,' but I’ve talked with the police and they say he is a habitual thief. I don’t feel bad for him; he chose to be in that situation. I work hard for my profit and in my business it’s a slim profit margin. When he steals my gas that profit margin starts to go away and I start losing money.”
Brown has an extensive case history for theft, possession, burglary and vehicle violations. In March of 2010 he received probation orders for felony petty theft.
Law enforcement is on the lookout for Brown, who is known to spend time in Denair and Merced as well as Turlock.
“They haven’t found him yet, he is in hiding,” said Dixon.
Those with any information are asked to contact Dixon at (209) 668-8460, or the Turlock Police Department at (209) 668-5550.