UPDATE 8:55 p.m. (8/19/22): Authorities released new information about the latest sightings of Shawn Tolbert — who is facing multiple charges in connection with last week’s police chase and crash in Craig County — around the New River Valley.
Deputies are warning residents in this area to keep their doors and vehicles locked.
Meanwhile, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office posted the following statement on Facebook on Friday night:
In regards to the Brush Mountain search for Shawn Tolbert, law enforcement has remained in the area throughout the day. We have utilized saturation patrols, foot patrols, K-9 units, and drone searches when following up on sighting reports. We have received no reported sightings since this morning; however, we will continue to keep deputies in the area throughout the night. We ask everyone to remain vigilant in case he has not left the area and remember to call 911 if you see someone matching the description released previously.
UPDATE 7:35 p.m. (8/19/22): Authorities provided new information to WFXR News about the daylong search effort around Montgomery County for a man believed to be Shawn Tolbert, who is wanted in connection with a police chase and crash in Craig County.
Capt. Edward Hertling with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says there have been two sightings of Tolbert in the past 24 hours.
In addition, officials believe Tolbert does not have any outside help and that he is traveling on foot, according to Hertling.
Hertling tells WFXR News that the most recent sightings of the man were from video camera doorbells in the Brush Mountain area, but the footage from the doorbells does not indicate any attempted forced entry or break-ins.
The captain says the area is heavily wooded and, since Tolbert is reportedly traveling on foot, it is likely he has been able to remain hidden in this wooded area.
Authorities have little information at this time about Tolbert’s background or how he might be surviving with no indication of outside help, saying it is possible he is using only cash so as to not leave a trail.
Regardless, officials say they believe Tolbert should be considered armed and dangerous.
UPDATE 11:17 a.m. (8/19/22): The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office shared new details about the search that started Thursday night for a man believed to be a fugitive facing multiple charges in connection with last week’s police chase and crash in Craig County.
According to officials, Virginia State Police recently spotted a vehicle that was similar to a vehicle the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office had listed as potentially involved in a theft from a gas station. When the state trooper tried to pull the vehicle over, the driver — identified as Shawn Tolbert — refused to stop, leading to a lengthy pursuit that ended with Tolbert wrecking the vehicle near Route 42 in Craig County.
Authorities say Tolbert is wanted for three counts of felony eluding and reckless driving from that incident. In addition, the Craig County Sheriff’s Office has placed charges against him for criminal trespassing, obstruction, false identification, and two counts of felony assault on a police officer from incidents that took place during the pursuit.
In the days following the chase and the crash, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says there were potential sightings of Tolbert in both Craig County and Giles County.
Then, on Thursday, Aug. 18, Montgomery County authorities say they were notified about a report of an attempted breaking and entering at a residence in the Brush Mountain Estates area.
The investigation and photos received from that home reportedly led officials to believe that the person who was trying to break in was Tolbert.
In addition, based upon the outstanding felony warrants and the information received from other agencies involved with the pursuit, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says its personnel and members of other law enforcement agencies have continued to search the area for Tolbert.
According to authorities, the potential sighting reports they have received have been concentrated in and around the Brush Mountain area and the north end of Blacksburg.
“In some reported sightings of Tolbert it was mentioned that he may have a handgun; however, we have not been able to substantiate for certain whether he is armed or not. Regardless, we ask the public to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings,” the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office stated. “We will continue to maintain a heavy presence in and around the area until he is either captured or believed to no longer be in the area.”
Authorities say they still believe the man has blue jeans, black shoes, a long-sleeve purple shirt, and blonde hair pulled into a pony tail.
If you see an individual matching his description, you are asked to call 911. For all other non‐emergency tips, call 540-382‐4343.
UPDATE 7:49 a.m. (8/19/22): Montgomery County authorities are still trying to track down a man believed to be Shawn Tolbert, who is wanted in connection with a police chase and crash in Craig County last week.
WFXR News’ crew was driving in the area around Pandapas Pond Road and Fortress Drive in Montgomery County on Friday, Aug. 19 and discovered two Blacksburg police officers, who told them to leave the area.
Since then, WFXR News’ crew has seen multiple vehicles from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Blacksburg Police Department, and the Virginia Tech Police Department, as well as a K-9, pull onto Fortress Drive.
This news comes after members of multiple law enforcement agencies spent the night searching for Tolbert following a reported break-in at a home in the Brush Mountain area on Thursday, Aug. 18. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says potential sightings and information shared by community members have kept the search focused in and around that area.
Officials urge residents to stay vigilant and call 911 if you see a man matching the description of the person in the photograph. For any non-emergency tips, call 540-382-4343.
UPDATE 5:55 a.m. (8/19/22): Authorities spent the night searching Montgomery County for a man believed to be the fugitive from last week’s police chase and crash in Craig County.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says the search began after a man reportedly tried to break into a home in the Brush Mountain area.
Then, based on the information they received, authorities announced they believed the man was 42-year-old Shawn Michael Tolbert of Burkeville, who is facing multiple charges in southwest Virginia.
According to Virginia State Police, on Thursday, Aug. 11, the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office asked them to keep an eye out for a vehicle that was reportedly involved in the theft of lottery tickets from a gas station at exit 162 in Botetourt County. A state trooper tried to stop a vehicle closely matching the initial description of the suspect vehicle, but when the trooper activated their emergency lights, the vehicle sped away.
Police tell WFXR News the pursuit continued until the vehicle crashed in Craig County. The driver, identified as Tolbert, reportedly ran away from the scene and has yet to be found, despite multiple search efforts in Craig County and Giles County over the last week.
Even though the investigation determined the vehicle Tolbert was driving was not the vehicle suspected in the Botetourt County lottery tickets theft, authorities say Tolbert is still wanted for multiple charges at this point, including the following:
- Charges from Virginia State Police:
- Three counts of felony eluding
- Three counts of reckless driving
- Charges from the Craig County Sheriff’s Office:
- Criminal trespassing
- False identification
- Two counts of felony assault on a police officer
The Craig County Sheriff’s Office even posted on Facebook shortly before 11:45 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 18 that “there has been a confirmed sighting” of Tolbert in Montgomery County, but urged community members to keep their doors and vehicles locked since he was still at large.
Officials described the person of interest in the attempted Brush Mountain break-in as a man with blue jeans, black shoes, possibly a long sleeve purple shirt, and blonde hair pulled into a pony tail.
If you see a man matching this description, you are asked to call 911, but for all other non-emergency tips, call 540-382-4343.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Members of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, along with other law enforcement agencies, are searching for a man believed to be facing multiple charges in connection with a police chase and a crash in Craig County last week.
According to the sheriff’s office, the man tried to break into a home in the Brush Mountain area.
Officials tell WFXR News that the man was described having blue jeans, black shoes, possibly a purple shirt, and blonde hair pulled into a ponytail.
Based on witness statements, authorities say they believe the man in 42-year-old Shawn Michael Tolbert of Burkeville, the subject of search efforts in Craig County and Giles County over the last week.
If you see a man matching this description, you’re asked to call 911 immediately. For any other non-emergency tips, you should call 540-382-4343.
Authorities say there will be heavy police presence throughout the evening on Thursday, Aug. 18 as the search continues.
WFXR News has a crew at the scene to gather more information about this developing story.