LAWRENCE COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a storage unit thief who could be responsible for as many as half a dozen similar crimes in the last few months.
Authorities describe the bandit as blatant and bold. He reportedly drives to storage units in the middle of the day in a red minivan.
“Everyone hates a thief. That holds true, especially someone like this,” Sheriff John Myers said.
News 2 has obtained surveillance footage of the latest crime. Investigators tell News 2 it happened on October 7, but the sheriff’s department only learned of the latest break-in on October 20.
Video from the storage facility at Prosser Road and Highway 64 shows a thief driving a red Dodge Caravan into a storage unit that is not protected by a gate.
“The one we are working on today was one out of five or six that has happened in the past couple of months,” the sheriff said.
The sheriff said the thief uses the van to shield himself while he uses bolt cutters to cut the low-security padlock. The sheriff shows News 2 multiple pictures of locks where the metal bar has been cut in half.
“They actually make a lock specifically for a storage locker and it is difficult to get bolt cutters on it. The ones we saw that had been opened up had just a regular padlock on it so he was able to get in quick and get what he wanted out of it,” Myers said.
According to the sheriff, the bandit stole tools, ammunition, and hunting equipment from a locker that is owned by a Tennessee state trooper. He said the lawman turned victim was most upset when he learned that the thief stole a guitar with a great deal of sentimental value.
“Yeah, he was definitely upset. He was pretty mad about that guitar. I gave him a call. I’m not sure how much money that guitar is worth but it has some sentimental value to it because it has some country music stars who signed it,” Myers said.
The sheriff says the red minivan could be the key to cracking the case. The passenger side rear tail light is either broken or an after-market style. If anyone has any information they are urged to contact the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department at 931-762-1608.
Additionally, the sheriff recommends checking storage units regularly and getting a lock specifically designed for storage lockers that are difficult to cut with bolt cutters.