NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A 61-year-old man used a crane to break into a Tennessee Valley Authority facility in Bellevue, then went for a joyride in a pick-up truck before crashing about a mile away, according to police.
Officers responded Sunday morning to a crashed TVA truck that was empty, but still running, on Coley Davis Road near the Harpeth River.
An arrest warrant alleges Kenneth Banks took an $800,000 crane truck from a lot outside of the TVA facility just after midnight, then drove it through the fence, into a secure area. The paperwork states the keys had been left inside the unlocked crane truck.
Banks continued driving through the facility, striking multiple fences, until the crane truck became disabled when chain link fencing wrapped around the axle, according to the police report.
Police said Banks abandoned the crane truck and stole a pick-up truck with the keys left inside. He then reportedly rammed several fences and security gates, left the facility and crashed through a fence about a mile away near the MTA Park and Ride.
More than 12 hours later, a warrant states a TVA inspector spotted Banks, the suspect in the theft and vandalism, sitting on a guard rail along Coley Davis Road.
He confessed to crashing through the gates and may have been “mentally disturbed,” according to the police report.
Police said there appeared to be at least $60,000 in damage to the fencing at the TVA facility.
A Nashville Electric Service facility next to the TVA also had damage to its fence that occurred around the same time.
Banks was booked into the Metro jail Sunday night on multiple charges, including felony vehicle theft and vandalism. His bond was set at $75,000.
The TVA issued the following statement to News 2 Monday afternoon:
“We conducting an investigation in cooperation with Nashville Metro regarding the theft our vehicles and damage to our facility. TVA appreciates the support. We are not releasing any additional information because this is an active investigation.”