ELIZABETHTON — Good cooperation between city and county law enforcement and an alert neighbor helped the Carter County Sheriff’s Department make arrests in a burglary that had just occurred on Tuesday evening.
Joshua Aaron Owens, 31, 433 W. Poplar St., Johnson City, and William Delbert Shamblin Jr., 26, 515 Wilson Ave., Johnson City, were each charged with aggravated burglary and theft over $500. Owens also was served with an outstanding warrant charging him failure to appear on previous charges.
The sheriff’s department was notified of a burglary in progress at 1613 Broad St. Ext., Apt. 4, at 8:20 p.m. Tuesday by a neighbor who said he saw two men carrying items out of the apartment and placing them in a tan Buick. The witness said the car, driven by a woman, then left, heading in an unknown direction. Lt. Dean Jones and Deputy Larry Vaughn were dispatched to the scene and other law enforcement officers were told by 911 to be on the lookout for the car.
Two minutes later, Elizabethton Police Department Capt. Jason Shaw saw a vehicle matching the witnesses’ description going west in the 1100 block of Broad Street. Shaw, assisted by Sgt. Mike Sproviero and Officers Jordan Ensor and James Sexton, stopped the car in the parking lot of Regions Bank on Broad Street.
Two men and a woman were taken from the car at gunpoint. Shaw said all three were compliant with officer instructions. The three were detained at the scene of the traffic stop until deputies arrived and took them into custody.
While the EPD was stopping the vehicle, Jones and Vaughn proceeded to the scene of the burglary. When they arrived, Vaughn said the front door was closed but unlocked and was not shut completely. After knocking on the door several times, the officers went inside to check the residence.
Vaughn said the window next to the front door was open and there was no window screen. Furniture in the apartment appeared to have been moved around and the mattress on one of the beds had been flipped onto the floor.
The deputies spoke with the witness, who said he had spoken with the two men. They had inquired about where the tenant had gone. The witness said they identified themselves as the tenant’s cousins and needed to retrieve some property that they had left.
After checking the apartment, Jones and Vaughn left to question the suspects.
CCSD Sgt. Kenny Cornett was already on the scene and he reported the car contained a 42-inch Insignia flat screen television, a Samsung portable 115-volt air conditioner, a pair of red Nike size 10.5 high-top tennis shoes, and a Remington hair trimmer.
The car’s owner was identified as Hollie Campbell, Maple Street, Johnson City. She said Owens and Shamblin had called her and asked for a ride to Elizabethton, promising to buy her gas and cigarettes.
The deputies reported Shamblin denied any knowledge of the crime. He told officers he was walking on U.S. Highway 19E and Campbell and Owens had picked him up. He said the property was already in the car.
After hearing the statements, the deputies arrested Shamblin and Owens. The two men are scheduled to answer the charges in Sessions Court on June 26. Shaw said Campbell was released after she was interviewed.
At 1:20 a.m. Vaughn spoke by phone with the tenant of the burglarized apartment. She said she knew both Shamblin and Owens and had sold the air conditioner to them, but she said they did not have permission to go inside her residence or remove any other items.
Shamblin and Williams were charged by Johnson City police in connection with a stolen car in April.
In this incident police said they spotted the vehicle that was reported stolen by Candy Porter, 1705 E. Fairview Ave., traveling west on East Main Street and attempted to stop the vehicle when it turned left onto Mary Key Street April 26. In the car were Shamblin and Owens.
The pair turned right onto Pardee Street and at the Bert Street intersection, Shamblin exited the vehicle and sent it crashing into a chain-link fence. Police pulled Owens out of the vehicle and placed him under arrest. Shamblin was arrested after a short foot chase.
Shamblin was charged with evading arrest, driving on a suspended license, leaving the scene of accident and theft of motor vehicle.
Owens was charged with theft of a motor vehicle.