Backwoods Bandit smoked out

Published 2:59 am Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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The fugitive Matthew John Cobb, 35, who was on the run last week, was captured on June 13 by  Covington County Sheriff’s Department’s Criminal Investigation Division. The Covington County Sheriff’s Department named Cobb the “Backwoods Bandit” after Covington, Conecuh and Escambia Counties police officers tracked the assailant throughout the woods. Cobb camped at many different locations near the Conecuh River after committing a string of burglaries in all three counties. Cobb has warrants for unlawful distribution and probation violation and has also been accused of stealing a truck and a boat from Conecuh County.

The Covington County Sheriff’s Department’s Criminal Investigation Division located Cobb in the attic of a residence on Brooklyn Road inside of Conecuh County. Covington County Sheriff Blake Turman said they used six rounds of teargas to flush Cobb out, but Cobb didn’t surrender until the authorities entered the attic. Turman said Cobb received no injuries. Cobb was then transported to the Conecuh County jail where he is being held for violation of parole. Turman said Covington County does hold warrants for Cobb and will incarcerate him soon. Authorities found a handgun, a bottle of whiskey and some first aid supplies in Cobb’s backpack.

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Cobb was seen in Damascus, Escambia County, the weekend before last. The Major at the Sheriff’s Office Bill Blair said Escambia County police officers were out searching for Cobb in the woods with tracking dogs, but because of the rain, Cobb’s trail was washed away. Blair said that they did find a stolen truck near the woods where Cobb was last seen in Damascus.

“I want to remind our community that this investigation is not over,” Turman said. “There are others involved, and we expect arrests soon. It is paramount that we as a community check on each other and secure our property. If you see something, say something. The Covington County Sheriff’s Department needs your intel.”