Cheatham County detectives hunt for thieves who stole more than four dozen guns from widow

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CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Investigators in Cheatham County need your help in locating a man they call dangerous and heavily armed.

Investigators say the man and other suspects, yet to be named, broke into a Cheatham County widow’s home emptying drawers, turning over dressers, and getting into three gun safes that were reportedly locked.

The burglars stole more than 50 guns from an extensive firearm collection that belonged to the widow’s husband who recently passed away. The break-in occurred June 15 while the widow was on vacation with family members.

Nick Waynick is the man who found the break-in and called police.

“My dad was a lifelong gun collector,” said Waynick.

Waynick says his father passed away this past March. He says the collection and tools taken are items that he most associates with his father.

“They were mostly antique wooden guns. Some were his dads [guns], and some were his granddad’s [guns]. They were more of family heirlooms that had sentimental value, than the actual price of them.”

According to Cheatham County detectives, evidence developed points to Zachary Wayne Turner. Detectives say the 28-year-old and other men broke into the home and stole the gun collection and the family’s Ford 550 full of tools. It was parked in the family’s garage. The truck was later recovered by MNPD in North Nashville.

Lt. Ken Miller of the CCSO says solving this case and getting the guns off the street is a departmental priority.

“It is in the wrong hands. That is my concern. What are they going to do with them, commit a robbery?”

According to investigators, Zachary Wayne Turner is also the prime suspect in a violent carjacking July 14 in East Nashville.

MNPD supplied surveillance footage showing a man police say is the 28-year-old in a Kroger parking lot on Gallatin Pike.

Metro detectives say the suspect flashed a gun at a motorcycle rider, demanding his motorcycle. According to a MNPD press release, Turner begins to ride away, but is confronted by a Kroger security guard causing the 28-year-old gunman to crash the motorcycle.

The press release indicates that Turner runs from the scene quickly finding an unsecured pickup truck that he steals and gets away.

Cheatham County Lieutenant Ken Miller tells News 2 that one of the guns used in the Nashville Kroger motorcycle theft is one of the stolen guns taken a month prior from the Waynick home burglary.

“So, we’ve made connections that identified him as a suspect in the carjacking, and we worked it back, through other video surveillance and we have tied him to our scene, to our weapons and the vehicle stolen at the same time,” said Lt. Miller.

When asked if Turner allegedly acted alone, Lt. Miller says, “No, we do not. We believe there are others with him.”

And what would the Waynick family say to Zachary Turner if they could?

“I don’t know what type situation you have to be in to go to those lengths. Like I said, you have a newly widowed woman, and you are pretty low down to do that to someone.”

Zach Wayne Turner is wanted out of Cheatham County on aggravated burglary charges, and he is wanted for carjacking in Davidson County.

If you have any information, you are urged to call the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office at (615) 792-4341.

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