Originally created 02/12/99

Intruder robs man in house

A construction worker laying carpet in a newly built Hephzibah home was robbed at gunpoint Thursday by an intruder who then led police on a chase in a stolen van.

David Bartlett, 41, was laying carpet at a new vacant home in the 2700 block of Spirit Creek Road at about 5:15 p.m. Thursday when someone walked into the house, said Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Steve Tovar.

Mr. Bartlett at first thought it was another worker or the owner of the house when the man pulled a gun and told him not to move. He ordered Mr. Bartlett to stand up and then took him into another room, where he forced him to lie down while he tied his hands behind his back with shoestrings and then tied his shoes together, Investigator Tovar said.

The thief searched Mr. Bartlett and stole his wallet.

The robber then left in Mr. Bartlett's van. Mr. Bartlett cut himself loose with a knife and called police.

Patrol deputies a short time later spotted the van, chasing it through downtown Augusta before the thief ran the van into a fire hydrant at about 8:45 p.m. in the 1600 block of McCauley Street.

The driver of the van, whose name police would not release, was taken into custody. He had not been charged by late Thursday night, but investigators said charges were pending.


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