Wilson County deputies look for victims after man is arrested in relation to 100 purse thefts

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WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office is looking for around 100 people who were victims of a multi-jurisdictional burglary operation.

“We started noticing a trend,” said detective Bryan McDonald with Wilson County. “Windows broken, damage to the windows, and the cars, and purses being taken.”

McDonald says the vehicle burglaries started back in 2018 and all occurred at boating docks and local parks. Detectives say the crimes occurred in Wilson County, Davidson County, Smith County, Dekalb County, Williamson County, Putnam County, and Rutherford County.

“My purse was stolen,” said Regan Scott. “I’m a single mom, so it was awful. I had a lot of cash stolen. Our social security cards, everything. Everything was just taken.”

Scott says she was boating at Vivrett Creek in Wilson County when her back window was smashed in. Her purse and a bag of clothes were stolen.

“He went through everything and you feel super violated,” she said. “I was so freaked out.”

Michael Lloyd Ballinger of Wilson County is being accused of these crimes. While he has not officially been charged yet, he is being held at the Rutherford County Jail.

Detective McDonald says his department is now looking for the owners of the more than 100 purses that are now in their possession.

“Since the post went out around 1:30 or 2 O’Clock, we’ve gotten 15 calls so far,” McDonald said.

If your purse was stolen out of your car at a park or boating dock, contact the jurisdiction where the crime occurred to see if detectives have found your bag.

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