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Coroner vehicle stolen
Truck taken from official's driveway
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Forsyth County News
Authorities are investigating the theft of a county-owned sport utility vehicle from the home of Forsyth County Coroner Lauren McDonald late last week.

Capt. Paul Taylor of the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office said sometime between 11 p.m. Thursday and 7:30 a.m. Friday, a 2006 Ford Expedition XLT was stolen from McDonald's driveway in the Haw Creek subdivision.

Taylor said the Expedition, used by the coroner to respond to calls, is black and has the numbers 6019 in reflective white tape on the rear bumper. The vehicle also has a government tag.

Authorities said McDonald left the doors unlocked with the keys inside. McDonald said Friday he did that as a precaution.

"If a deputy coroner receives a call and they're on call or something and they're in the area, we'll swap around vehicles," he said. "I came in after 11 last night and it was windy. I pitched the keys under my seat and ran inside."

Along with the coroner's truck, the suspects got away with various items including radios, a gurney and a laptop computer, all of which are county property and were kept in the vehicle.

"Everything I do, you're in a hurry, to an extent," he said. "Even if it's the death of a loved one you want to be timely in getting there ... when you go from a dead sleep at 2 in the morning and have to get into action, you try to do things timely and fumbling for keys sometimes is something you'd like not to do."

McDonald said the theft will not have an affect on his duties.

"We pretty much have a duplicate of everything that would be in my car," he said. "It was just a rash that went through this area ... when someone comes on your own property you just feel violated. Whether it's a vehicle or they come into your house."

McDonald said the incident has made him nauseous.

"It's taught me a lesson," he said.

McDonald said the truck is insured and he commended the sheriff's deputies for their efforts.

Taylor said investigators are looking at other reports involving vehicles being entered in McDonald's neighborhood and another one nearby.

"I know of now three other incidents in the general area," Taylor said Friday. "We just found out about one in his subdivision and there were two others in an adjoining subdivision."

Taylor said authorities are contacting residents in Haw Creek and The Gates subdivision to gather as much information as possible.

Anyone with any information about the theft of  the coroner vehicle or the other incidents is encouraged to call the sheriff's office criminal investigations division at (770) 781-2200. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (770) 888-7308.