Man steals fire truck to go see girlfriend in Mississippi

Man steals fire truck to go see girlfriend in Mississippi (Image 1)

A Cornersville man is facing felony burglary and auto theft charges after police said he broke into a volunteer fire department, stole a fire truck and drove to Mississippi.

Twenty-two-year-old Phillip Higgs was arrested outside of Olive Branch, Mississippi Sunday afternoon.

Investigators said he confessed to stealing a 2012 F-550 fire and rescue brush fire truck so he could drive to Mississippi to see his girlfriend.

“It was more or less for transportation,” Cornersville Police Sergeant David McVey said. “He didn't have a vehicle and he wanted to go to Mississippi to see his girlfriend and child.”

Higgs does not have a previous criminal history and police said he is not connected to the volunteer fire department.

Police contacted Higgs' girlfriend when his father alerted them that he may have stolen a fire truck to make the 250 mile trip to see her. 

“They actually helped us and got him to where he would park the fire truck and then get with them,” Sgt. McVey said.

Marshall County's EMA director and the Marshall County Volunteer Fire Chief traveled to Mississippi to get the brush truck, Tuesday.

It is unclear if the truck was damaged during the theft.

The fire department bought the $125,000 truck with federal grant money.  With the added fire fighting equipment the truck is valued at around $200,000.

The theft did leave the county vulnerable in the event of a fire.

“It did affect the south end of the county,” Sgt. McVey said. “If there had been a brush fire or something like that it would have affected this side of the county because they would have been a truck down.”

Higgs is currently in Mississippi awaiting extradition back to Tennessee to face felony charges.

The sheriff's office has filed the extradition request and Higgs is expected to waive extradition when he appears in front of a Mississippi judge later this week.

Higgs' auto theft charge is a Class B felony because the truck is worth more than $60,000, according to Sgt. McVey.

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