‘I had no idea he was a fugitive:’ Search for Shawn Tolbert ends in the backyard of Dublin man’s home

Police said he was hiding in a bus parked in a good samaritan’s backyard

After a 20-day search, Shawn Tolbert was found inside a bus parked behind a Dublin home

DUBLIN, Va. – Wanted man Shawn Tolbert was taken into custody after nearly three weeks of being on the run.

Tolbert was found inside a bus parked behind a Dublin home – the home of Andrew Fitzgerald.

“I had no idea until then that he was a fugitive,” Fitzgerald said.

Dublin Police said they received an anonymous call from someone who said they had seen Tolbert, prompting Dublin Police and multiple other agencies to respond to the 600 block of East Main Street in Dublin.

“I’m sure you’ve heard the slogan, see something, say something, that is so important,” said Dublin Police Chief Dennis Lambert.

Fitzgerald is known in the Dublin community for helping to feed and house people experiencing homelessness, which is what Fitzgerald did for Tolbert when he saw him walking along Route 460 in the dark.

“I said, ‘Well, you’re welcome to come back to my house and get cleaned up and I’ll feed ya,’ and he said, ‘That’s a deal,’” Fitzgerald explained.

With assistance from multiple agencies like State Police and the US Marshals, Dublin Police said Tolbert was taken into custody from inside the bus parked outside of Fitzgerald’s home.

Neighbors said the sight and sound of flash bangs and tear gas caught their attention in their usually quiet neighborhood.

“Next thing I knew there was a boom and you could see smoke go up,” said one neighbor, Shelva Almarode.

“Things like that don’t happen here,” said another neighbor, Cindy Robison.

As for Fitzgerald, he’s still at a loss for words that he was unknowingly helping a wanted man.

“You never would’ve thought he was a fugitive. The guy was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. It’s just hard to believe I’m still shocked,” Fitzgerald said.

Police said Tolbert was taken to the hospital after the State Police got him into custody.

It is unknown where Tolbert will go after he is released from doctors’ care, as he has multiple charges in different counties.

About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.