WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Good police work over the holiday weekend led to the arrest of two alleged mail thieves.
It began near Thompson’s Station early Saturday morning with a suspicious activity call. That’s when alert deputies saw a suspect vehicle, a Dodge Stratus, with people suspected of going through mailboxes.
When deputies pulled the car over, they found 47-year-old Clifford Wayne Watkins behind the wheel and 40-year-old Sandra Gail White in the passenger seat.
The couple told officers they were “just riding around.”
It didn’t take long for deputies to spot multiple pieces of mail and packages addressed to citizens all across Williamson County in the back seat of the car.
“They seen a vehicle matching the description driving slow through the neighborhood checking mailboxes,” said Williamson County Chief Deputy Mark Elrod, “As soon as they stopped could see in the back seat a lot of packages and mail with a lot of different addresses and that’s not normal.”
On video you hear the deputy ask Watkins, “Why are you going through people’s stuff man? You got packages in the back seat. Will any of those packages belong to you?”
Watkins answers, “They are hers.”
The deputy responds, “They are hers? Are any of those packages yours? Have your name on it?”
Though it is 1 a.m., White initially tells deputies that the couple is just driving around looking at houses.
“Just driving around, looking at houses. There was a big mansion, he was thinking like stars lived there.”
The deputy questions if they were looking to buy, or just looking.
White responds, “No just looking. I wish we could buy.”
By this time, Watkins is in handcuffs. He is more forthcoming with deputies about what the couple is allegedly doing.
Deputy: What’s the deal, man, with all that mail in there that don’t belong to you all?
Watkins: Trying to make some money somehow.
Deputy: What do you mean make some money?
Watkins: Like try and pay the rent and stuff.
Deputy: So, going through some mailboxes, hoping to find a little bit of cash in some birthday cards and pay the rent?
Watkins: Something like that.
“It’s a way they think you can make easy money. I think they found out it is an easy way to go to jail,” said Chief Deputy Elrod.
The couple is charged with theft of property. They posted bond and are out of jail and due back in court in September.
Sheriff’s officials tell News 2 that Clifford Watkins has no criminal history in Williamson County. Sandra White, however, has multiple arrests including theft and forgery.