VONORE (WATE) – The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says it has solved five theft cases and recovered more than $100,000 in stolen items, some that were taken more than seven years ago, after searching a home in the Vonore area.
Deputies are still sifting through the items to find out who owns them.
Capt. Tavis Jones with the Monroe County Investigations and Recovery Team said they’ve had several thefts going on in the Vonore community for quite some time now. This particular incident, however, started with a narcotics investigation.
William Brewster and Harley Hodge have both been charged with theft over $10,000 in the case.
Billy Griffitts’s utility task vehicle was stolen right out of his yard last Wednesday. He says it was dismantled into seven pieces and its been difficult tracking everything down.
“It’s disbelief because I figured it had been shipped all over in pieces. Of course, it is in pieces but it can be put back together,” he said. “No major damages except for the dash, but its repairable. Probably the most damage is taking time off from work, being a single dad and having to take time away from kids and those activities. It’s damages you don’t think about in the long run. Sleepless nights and worry.”
Some of the property recovered was taken seven years ago from homes across the county, a value totaling $100,000. Capt. Jones says lawn mowers and UTV’s make for an easy target since most are left sitting outside of homes.
Slideshow: Monroe County stolen items
“So far we’ve got almost 44 weed eaters, 14 push mowers, 11 riding lawn mowers, 25 drills and 25 iron tools, flat screen TV and also weapons,” said Jones.
Jones says some items had serial numbers that had been reported as stolen, but it will be difficult to find the owners of other stolen items.
“The process is going to take some time. We’re actually going to have people come that’s filed reports to kind of go through and identify some of the property,” he said.
Griffitts was able to take his items home. He says it’s a sigh of relief.
“This is my fifth trip out here, so I think this is the last piece and I’m going home with it today,” he said. “There’s a lot of heartache here, a lot sleepness nights, a lot of worry and if you see anything in your community that doesn’t seem right call it in.”
If you spot any items you think are yours, call the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office at (423) 442-3911.