Possible sighting of armed and dangerous man wanted after Botetourt Co. police chase, Craig Co. crash

Officials strongly advise the public to use extreme caution if Tolbert is located

Shawn Michael Tolbert, 42 (Virginia State Police)


A man believed to be armed and dangerous has possibly been sighted in Newport, the Giles County Sheriff’s Office said.

On August 11, Shawn Tolbert, 42, was said to be involved in a police chase that began in Botetourt County and ended in a crash in Craig County, according to police.

The Sheriff’s Office said that Tolbert has been at large since the crash, and multiple agencies have been participating in the search.

On Tuesday, the Giles County Sheriff’s Office said a witness reported a possible signing of Tolbert, but the sighting was not confirmed.

Authorities said that multiple agencies were on the scene where the possible spotting happened, near Winding Way near Super Val-UGrocery in Newport.

The witness described the person they saw to be a white male with a mustache and slicked-back hair, approximately five feet, ten inches tall, wearing a blue flannel shirt with white and black stripes and blue jeans, and possibly carrying a bag, authorities said.

The Sheriff’s Office said that Tolbert is still considered armed and dangerous, and if you see him, do not attempt to approach him.

If you think you have been Tolbert, authorities are asking you to call 911.


The Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a man believed to be armed and dangerous.

Virginia State Police says on Aug. 11 the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Officers alerted them of a suspect vehicle in connection with a theft of lottery tickets at a gas station at exit 162 in Botetourt County.

Although there was little information initially on the suspect vehicle, a trooper located one that closely matched the initial description and tried to stop it. But rather than stopping, the driver sped away, according to authorities.

We’re told the pursuit continued into Craig County, which is where the driver ended up crashing before he got out of the vehicle and ran away from the scene.

Authorities say the driver, later identified as Shawn Michael Tolbert, 42, of Burkville, Virginia, has remained at large since the crash. He is described as 5 feet, 10 inches and police believe he may have changed clothes and is living in the woods to avoid authorities.

After investigating further, authorities discovered that this was not the suspect in the theft. But Tolbert is currently wanted on multiple charges, which include:

  • Virginia State Police - 3 counts of Felony Elude Police
  • Virginia State Police - 3 counts of Reckless Driving
  • Craig County Sheriff’s Office - Criminal Trespass
  • Craig County Sheriff’s Office - Obstruction
  • Craig County Sheriff’s Office - False Identification
  • Craig County Sheriff’s Office - 2 counts of Felony Assault on a Police Officer.

Officials strongly advise the public to use extreme caution if they Tolbert is located and say he may be dangerous if threatened.

Community members are asked to immediately contact law enforcement if they come across Tolbert.

At this time, there are multiple agencies participating in the search for Tolbert.

About the Authors:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.