A rash of break-ins that started this spring in Fort Morgan and spanned lower Baldwin County, ended Nov. 18 in Foley after months of searching by law enforcement.
During the spring of 2019 the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office received multiple reports of home burglaries during the nighttime along a mile stretch of Fort Morgan Road.
Video surveillance was obtained, and the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office asked for the public and media to help in identifying the suspect or suspects. Deputies also increased patrol efforts in the area and the number of burglaries slowed down and eventually ceased.
In August, 2019, the Gulf Shores Police Department saw an increase in burglaries in their jurisdiction with similarities to the Fort Morgan offenses. Investigators from Gulf Shores and the Baldwin County Sheriff’s office teamed up to search for and arrest the suspect.
The suspect appeared to be living in the woods where the burglaries were occurring and would break into unoccupied summer homes and stay before moving on. There were sightings of the suspect in September of this year that led to several manhunts but the suspect was able to elude law enforcement on every occasion.
In October, investigators were able to put a name to the face that had been seen on video during the Gulf Shores investigations. The suspect was identified as Joseph Shane Reed, age 34 with his residence listed as Foley.
Authorities believe that Reed left the area and went to the Yupon area, West of Magnolia Springs. Thefts and burglaries started occurring in the area that closely matched Reed’s methods from Fort Morgan. There were three manhunts in this area and each time, Reed was able to elude capture due to terrain and his familiarity with the area. During one of the manhunts, Reed discarded a loaded firearm.
On Nov. 18, investigators with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office received a tip from the public that Reed would be at Flamingo’s gas station in Foley (US 98/Foley Beach Express). Investigators and Patrol units watched the business until Reed arrived in a vehicle. Reed immediately ran from the vehicle into a neighboring mobile home park and was eventually taken into custody after a brief foot chase.
Reed was treated for a head injury at South Baldwin Regional Medical Center and then transported to the Sheriff’s Corrections Center. Reed is currently facing several charges:
Unlawful possession of a controlled substance
Possession of drug paraphernalia
Attempt to elude. Two counts
Active felony warrants
Additional charges are forthcoming from multiple law enforcement agencies. Reed has prior theft and burglary convictions.
The Gulf Shores Police Dept., Foley Police Dept., U.S. Marshals Service, ALEA Air Unit, Alabama Dept. of Corrections K-9 unit and most importantly the public and media contributed to this suspects arrest.