During the Spring and early Summer of 2019, the Baldwin County Sheriff’s office started receiving multiple reports of home burglaries along a mile stretch of Fort Morgan Rd.
Officials say several unoccupied and occupied residences were entered during nighttime hours. Video surveillance was obtained and disseminated to the community and media in an attempt to identify who the suspect or suspects were. Deputies also stepped up patrol efforts, in the area, to put pressure on the suspect. The number of burglaries in the area slowed down and eventually ceased in the areas patrolled by the sheriff’s office.
In August the Gulf Shores Police Dept. say they started having burglaries occur in their jurisdiction that were similar to the burglaries that occurred further down Fort Morgan.
Investigators with BCSO and GSPD teamed up to search for and arrest the suspect. The suspect appeared to be living in the woods where the burglaries were occurring. The suspect would break into and stay in unoccupied summer homes for a period of time and then pick up and move to another home. There were sightings of the suspect around September of this year that led to several manhunts in the area. The suspect was able to elude law enforcement on every occasion.
In October of this year, 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 Reed. It is believed that Reed left the Fort Morgan area and went to the Yupon area West of Magnolia Springs. Additional thefts and burglaries started occurring in this area that closely matched Reed’s methods from Fort Morgan.
There were three manhunts in this area in an attempt to arrest Reed for the criminal activity. 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 November 18, investigators with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s office received information from the public that Reed would be at Flamingos gas station in Foley (US 98/Foley Beach Express). Investigators and Patrol units watched the business until Reed arrived in a vehicle.
They say Reed immediately ran from the vehicle into a neighboring mobile home park. Reed was eventually taken into custody after a brief foot chase. Reed was treated for a head injury at South Baldwin Regional and then transported to the Sheriff’s Corrections Center.
Reed is currently facing the following charges: unlawful possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest, attempting to elude two counts.
Reed was not granted bond.