Hickman County investigators searching for ‘chronic offender’

Crime Tracker

HICKMAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Hickman County deputies have a direct message for one of their chronic offenders, turn yourself in before someone is hurt.

Bobby Joe Wilkins has been running loose for the last two months in and around Hickman County. Deputies say it’s important to put the 34-year-old back behind bars.

Bobby Joe Wilkins
Bobby Joe Wilkins

According to the Department of Corrections, he was supposed to be in state prison until 2024 for multiple crimes including aggravated burglary and theft.

Hickman County deputies have encountered the man they call a ‘chronic offender’ several times in the last few months.

Wilkins reportedly led deputies on at least two dangerous chases. The first time was at night and he got away, Hickman County Lt. Mike Doddo tells News 2. The second time was early in the morning, and because children were at bus stops and many people were commuting to work, supervisors terminated the pursuit.

Hickman County deputies stumbled upon the known thief in a carport recently. Video shows the detective pulling his service weapon and ordering Wilkins to surrender.

In the video, you see the suspect dancing behind cars, while smoking a cigarette. He tells the detective he’s not armed, but will not surrender or show his hands. In a few seconds, he is gone.

“We’ve gotten info he is looking to pick up guns, because he doesn’t want to go back to jail,” said Lt. Doddo.

Investigators say Wilkins was mistakenly released on a simple procedural error. That was about two months ago.

“Two boxes were not checked on paperwork, and he was released is what it comes down to,” said Doddo.

Doddo says Wilkins must be caught before someone is hurt.

“Every time we dealt with him, he runs from us, he will not surrender. We’d like him to surrender before someone is hurt or someone gets killed. Hopefully it is not an innocent victim.”

Deputies tell News 2 that Wilkins is not acting alone and those helping him also face possible criminal charges. Because he is a suspect in multiple crimes including dangerous pursuits, deputies say it is distinctly possible that Wilkins will serve even more time once he is recaptured.

“He is out stealing your hard-earned items, he’s taking your cars, jeopardizing your family,
he needs to be in jail. He said he is guilty. He pleaded guilty to the charges and now he doesn’t want to answer for the charges he said he committed. It’s time to get him back in custody and put him where he belongs; the state penal system,” said Lt. Doddo.

If you have any information that may lead investigators to Wilkins, contact the Hickman County Sheriff’s Department at (931) 729-6143 or info@hickmanco.com.

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