PORTLAND, Tenn. (WKRN) – Portland Police arrest a home burglary suspect who authorities stole household items including family keepsakes and baby cribs.
Portland Detectives admit that solving this case quickly is a direct result of multiple neighbors at the crime scene and at the suspect’s home who saw suspicious activity and got involved.
A neighbor who lives next door to the victim, who asked not to be identified, said he saw the suspect, identified as Leslie Briely coming and going from his neighbor’s home loading up her pick up truck.
The neighbor says, “I asked her what she was doing over there because I had not noticed the vehicle before. Being here for a year, we know our neighbors.”
The neighbor says the 45-year-old woman was nervous and tried to tell him that she had made an arrangement with the homeowners to sell the items and everything was on the up and up.
The neighbor says, “she said she had purchased the items from the neighbor. After I confronted her. She was pretty quick to get in her truck and get out of here.”
Before leaving, the neighbor got Briley’s tag number and immediately called the family who was stunned at the news.
The female victim who also does not want to be identified said she was floored that someone was inside her home taking her possessions.
“I was in shock. I was angry. And I’m upset.”
According to the victim, the woman stole many items including her children’s games and a tricycle passed down from grandparents.
She said she became emotional when she learned that the thief also took a special crib she purchased specially for her daughter.
Victim says, “I lost it. I started screaming. I punched the wall.”
The victim tells news 2 that act broke her hand, and it may require surgery to repair the damage.
“I searched for 4 months for that crib while pregnant with my daughter,” she adds.
Police take a report initially, but detectives admit solving the case might be difficult without the interaction of the neighbors who stepped up to get license tags and more.
Investigators say the case blows wide open after the woman posts her loss on Facebook. .
That’s when a Gallatin man, who lives across the street from the suspect, gets in touch with the distraught mother, telling her he knows where her stolen items are.
Not only does he communicate his location, but the neighbor also takes a number of surveillance pictures of Leslie Briley driving her pick up truck and walking around her front yard, which on this day is filled with many items, as if they are being sold.
Det. Jason Arnold tells news 2, “the neighbor of the suspect saw this facebook post and made contact with the victim and said, I know where your stuff is at.”
When police interview Briley, she shows them a forged receipt with wrong information.
Police say it is all a sham to throw them off the scent.
Arnold says, “Yes. She was trying to cover herself. We got info later that revealed she is totally bogus and has been doing this for quite a while now.”
The victim’s neighbor adds he feels humbled that his interaction helped break the case for his neighbor.
“I feel humbled I guess, really. I was doing what was right. Neighbors are neighbors and you have to look out for one another in this day and age.”
Briley is currently in the Sumner County jail. She is charged with theft and aggravated burglary.
The family did get back some of their stolen goods. but the victim wants her child’s baby crib back. She says it is a Savanah lifetime crib. If you have any info you are urged to contact Portland p.d.