Warrant Issued for Missing Armored Truck Driverby Jana Ritter - Published: 12/24/2014
It started as a search effort to find 24-year old Trent Michael Cook, after the armored truck he was driving was found empty, with the engine still running, in an alley in Amarillo, Texas. Police first listed Cook as missing/endangered when they found the Rochester Armored vehicle after receiving a call that it was standing unoccupied, with the engine running.
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Amarillo PD Sgt. Brent Barbee explains, "Our first concern was with the welfare of the driver in this case, that's what we're looking at immediately, which is where is Trent Michael Cook? Is he OK? Did he leave that vehicle because he wanted to? Did he leave that truck because somebody made him? One way or another our first and best bet is to talk to him."
After police found the armored vehicle Monday morning, the search for the missing driver was full on Monday evening and while investigators have been reviewing evidence and have not confirmed the circumstances of Cook's disappearance, nor the missing contents of the truck – they have issued a warrant for Cook and have already arrested his father.
The warrant issued yesterday charged the missing driver Trent Michael Cook, with first-degree felony theft of over $200,000. Officers also arrested Cook's father, Brian Keith Hodge, 43, for tampering with or fabricating evidence in connection with the case. Cook was last seen wearing his company uniform. He is 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighs 165 pounds, and has blond hair and hazel eyes.
Not all truck driving jobs require the driver to be armed, and so while Cook was not hired as an armed employee, investigators have developed credible evidence to suggest that Cook has access to a rifle and handguns. Amarillo police also released a statement saying that Trent Michael Cook could be considered dangerous due to this new information.
Investigators also added that there was no sign of a struggle or forced entry into the vehicle and that they had collected information that the suspect had previously discussed how a theft like this would be committed.
However, Cook’s family has also made a public statement saying that he's not involved in his own disappearance or the removal of the truck's contents. Bill Wills, Trent Cook’s stepfather made a statement to the press saying, "There is speculation that he’s involved in this, but his mom and I are steadfast in our belief that he had nothing to do with this and was an unwilling participant."
Do you think the missing truck driver is guilty or not guilty? If he planned this, where do you think he would of gone to avoid being found with that amount of cash?