NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Are Nashville car burglars getting more brazen?
In the last week, News 2 has documented multiple cases of young thieves crisscrossing across West Nashville and Belle Meade stealing cars, even trying to carjack citizens to avoid getting captured.
A recent incident from Spring Hill would seem to indicate that car burglars are starting to escalate chances for violence.
The most recent incident took place in the Cameron Farms Subdivision in Northern Spring Hill.
That’s where police say a group of Nashville young people on April 26 and April 28 were caught early the morning rummaging through cars and trying to get into garages.
When the group was spotted by residents, some ran, but some also walked away, defiantly, almost unconcerned. As cops flooded the neighborhood, one young man, according to investigators, even hid in a tree while officers searched below him.
News 2 has obtained Ring surveillance footage that shows one of those suspects casually walking through the neighborhood carrying a handgun.
Spring Hill Detective Mike Foster says the suspects were arrested in an unrelated armed robbery in Georgia a few days later. A Spring Hill detective drove to the jail just outside of Atlanta and interviewed one of the suspects from the Spring Hill Burglaries and thefts.
According to Foster, the man “indicated they were all armed with at least handguns.”
Spring Hill Police have now identified two of the suspects as 22-year-old Kedarius Smith and 20-year-old Quantae Hunter.
A woman whose husband confronted the group and then called 911 spoke to News 2 on condition of anonymity.
“It was kind of terrifying to think, very unnerving.”
Her husband made this 911 call:
Husband: “He was going through my neighbors’ cars. When I yelled at him, he didn’t seem to care. The one I could see the best seemed to have a hoodie with white stripes.”
Woman: “Then he stopped, looked, yelled, ‘hey, what are you doing?’ Then he came in and called the police, not knowing if they had a weapon.”
The group fled and ran behind the woman’s home.
When police flooded the neighborhood, they say one of the bad guys ran up a nearby tree and hid. Police say the man, now identified as Quante Hunter, was armed with a handgun.
According to police who interviewed the suspects, the young men indicated if they were cornered, they were willing to open fire.
“An officer, or a deputy actually, walked under a tree. He didn’t know there was a suspect in the tree. And he (the suspect) had a chance to use his firearm if needed. And we are not sure what would have happened had the officer seen him. I am sure it would of ended up in a gunfight between the two because that’s a pretty good shot for an ambush and the officer wouldn’t have much of a chance,” said Foster.
After the incident in the neighborhood, the woman whose husband called 911 says they sleep with the lights on.
“We went and bought all new floodlights to make sure they were as bright as they could be and we keep the security lights on the front and even the back yard.”
At this time, Spring Hill police have not charged either suspect with any crime. Detectives say the case will be presented to a grand jury.
According to Spring Hill detectives, the two men are still in a Georgia jail facing armed robbery charges.