Officials search for wanted Hamblen County man

Joshua Wayne Cooper (SOURCE: Hamblen County Sheriff's Office)

MORRISTOWN (WATE) – The Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a man wanted for vehicle thefts and arson.

The Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office says thefts by Joshua Cooper span Cocke, Jefferson, Sevier and Hamblen Counties.  The first warrant is from the Morristown Police Department for a 2010 Dodge Cruiser that was stolen from a car lot.  They say Cooper would go in to car lots asking about cars, and when the staff got distracted, he would leave in the vehicles.  Some of the cars were abandoned, others were set on fire.  Those thefts are still under investigation.

During a police chase Friday night, officers say Cooper rammed an empty deputy vehicle.  While trying to ram another, he lost control and flipped.  He was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center and was released this morning.  A female passenger was flown to Holston Valley Hospital.

As officers were transporting Cooper to Hamblen County, they decided to stop at some of the sites to collect evidence where Cooper allegedly abandoned cars.  Officers say this is when Cooper stole a cruiser.  Officers found the cruiser stuck under a fence at Leepers Ferry Road less than three miles away.

Cooper is believed to be in Greene County and officers say he has been very aggressive, but there were no weapons on him when he was in custody.

Cooper is described as a white male, approximately 5’11 and 210 pounds with brown hair, medium build and blue eyes.

If you have any information, please call (423) 586-3781.

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