Hitchhiker accused of robbing woman who gave him ride to Dickson

DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) - A Dickson hitchhiker is behind bars Thursday, accused of stealing from the very woman who was kind enough to give him a ride.

The 24-year-old was taken into custody some two hours after the alleged crime, thanks to aggressive actions by the family tracking his spending spree and calling police.

Carol Cope told News 2 she has since learned her lesson about picking up hitchhikers.

"Oh, I'm not picking up hitchhikers again," she said.

The incident happened on May 7 when Jonathan Atchley, 46, needed a ride to Dickson from Hickman County.

After Cope dropped him off, she reportedly noticed her wallet and pink tablet were gone.

She called police who checked the area to no avail, all meanwhile family members began tracking her stolen credit card that was being used.

Family members say they saw a charge at Dunkin' Donuts before the woman's daughter and son-in-law spotted himself. They then called police.

Body cameras reveal officers finding Cope's belongings and talking to the suspect. A search of his backpack reportedly turned up syringes, a stun gun, and an air pistol.

Atchley is currently serving 60 days in the Dickson County jail. The statements recorded during his arrest will ultimately help prosecute, which is just one more reason to have body cameras, Dickson police say.

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