GALLATIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – Construction at the new Liberty Creek School Complex on Upper Station Camp Creek Road in Sumner County is well underway, but bad-intentioned bandits have been trespassing and taking what should belong to students.
“We worked with Cheatham County on a case they had and executed a search warrant and arrested several people for those burglaries and recovered a lot of property,” explained Major Tim Bailey who oversees the Criminal Investigation Division for the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office.
Bailey thought that would be the end of it until more property went missing. Spotted in the early morning hours, an unexpected motorcycle was parked near the school. The detectives turned their investigation digital.
“We put cameras that we control out,” said Bailey.
Authorities then waited for the suspected bike burglar, 36-year-old Zachary Bray, to strike again. When he did, they heard him before they saw him.
“One of my more attentive detectives actually got the alert around 1 a.m., closer to midnight, and looks at the video and sees and hears the motorcycle go by. She notifies the patrol division and they set up around the complex,” Bailey explained.
When Bray sped off, deputies were standing by.
“The gentleman was wearing a headlamp on his hat driving down these country roads,” Bailey said. “They followed him. He refused to stop. He started dumping backpacks that had stolen tools in them.”
The arrest and following investigation found Bray may be responsible for other heists at the high school construction site.
“We believe he is the one responsible for stealing a water truck,” Bailey continued. “The reason we believe that he stole that is because of the loot that he stole. There was a lot of copper, a lot of wire, a lot of tools and he actually strapped his motorcycle to the back of it and drove it to an area in Robertson County. If they’re all tied to him, it’d be $20,000 – $30,000. The truck itself is probably worth over $80,000.”
It’s a hefty price tag for an expensive lesson that ended with detention.
Bray’s been charged with theft in the past and was out on parole for armed robbery in Florida at the time of his arrest.