CLAXTON (WATE) – Anderson County officials are searching for three or four suspects after they allegedly tried breaking into a vehicle Sunday night.
Anderson County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Mark Lucas says the suspects tried to break into a vehicle at Concord Park in West Knox County around 5:30 p.m. A person witnessed the attempted break in and the suspects fled in a rental van. The witness followed the suspects from Concord Park down Pellissippi Parkway into Anderson County where their van spun out in the grass near Edgemoor Road.
“I’m disappointed. A lot of the stuff they took was replaceable. I am a little bit thankful. They did find my purse on the side of the road this morning. A TDOT worker found it. The only things they took were my license, Social Security card, and credit card. That doesn’t make me feel very good,” said burglary victim Hannah Grasman.
The suspects then ran off into the Sherwood Estates subdivision. There were two reports of prowlers and the suspects tried to break into a house.
Deputies from Anderson and Knox counties responded, as did Oak Ridge Police Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol. A K-9 bloodhound tracked the suspects across Chestnut Ridge to West Wolf Valley Road, but the track ended abruptly as it appears the suspects were picked up by a car.
Oak Ridge Police Department Chief James Akagi said, “The vehicle passed through our jurisdiction and before we could make contact with it, it later crashed in Anderson County and Anderson County requested mutual aid from our department. We sent four units to assist them in the Claxton area.”
Around midnight Monday morning, deputies assisted Oak Ridge police for about two hours following a suspicious person see in the east end of Oak Ridge. No one was located and it’s not known if this person was one of the suspects.
Officers have continued to patrol the Claxton and West Wolf Valley areas, but as there have been no further sightings, it appears they have left the area.
“Just a lot of processing of that emotion and just trying to comfort each other. They need to be caught, regardless or not if it ended the way it did,” said Grasman.
No witnesses were able to give detailed descriptions of the suspects, other than that they were black males in possible dark clothing. Knox County deputies towed the van, which was a rental, and an investigation is underway to determine the suspects’ identities.