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Update: Home invasion that caused Unicoi Co. school lockdown was false report

September 4th, 2013 2:10 pm by Brad Hicks

Update: Home invasion that caused Unicoi Co. school lockdown was false report


ERWIN — It turns out a Wednesday afternoon home invasion robbery that prompted a brief search by local authorities and the lockdown of several Unicoi County schools never actually occurred, according to Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley. 


At around 1 p.m. Wednesday, authorities received a report about a residence on Martin Creek Road where two armed men allegedly entered the home of the elderly female resident and stole her purse and a box containing several types of prescription medications, Hensley said. 


Hensley said a man living in the residence, whose relationship to the woman was not provided, confirmed the robbery had taken place.


“She claimed that someone had came in and had stolen her purse and also a box containing several types of medications,” Hensley said. “Also, there was a guy in the house that officers talked to, and he confirmed that’s what allegedly happened.”


Hensley said the alleged victims provided authorities with a description of two men who had been walking in the area and were believed to be the suspects. Authorities spoke with others nearby who had also seen men matching the descriptions provided, which corroborated the report, Hensley said. 


The sheriff said officers with the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department and Erwin Police Department began searching the area for the suspects and, as a precaution, Unicoi County High School, Unicoi County Middle School, Unicoi County Intermediate School, Love Chapel Elementary School and the Unicoi Career and Technical Education facility located nearby were placed under lockdown. 


“We took all precautionary measures because of the schools,” Hensley said. 


In the meantime, sheriff’s department investigators continued speaking with the alleged victims and, during the course of this, the man living at the Martin Creek Road home “broke down” and told investigators that the items reported as stolen were still in the home, Hensley said. Authorities found the items in the home’s bedroom, Hensley said. 


Hensley said the woman who made the report may suffer from a mental disability. However, the man residing at the Martin Creek Road home may face charges if he is found to be competent and his confirmation of the robbery report was deliberate, Hensley said. 


“The old lady, I’m not sure about her mental status, but him, I advised my investigators to take a real serious look at him, maybe charge him with false reporting,” Hensley said. “Our main concern is to make sure the lady is going to be taken care of. Evidently, her mental status is not what it should be.”


Hensley said names are not being given at this time and the incident is still under investigation. No charges had been filed as of Wednesday evening. 


An official with Unicoi County Schools said the lockdown was lifted at around 1:45 p.m.

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Earlier report:

ERWIN — Sheriff Mike Hensley said a home invasion report that caused several Unicoi County schools to lock down this afternoon turned out to be a false report.

An elderly woman reported that two men had entered her home on Martins Creek Road and had stolen her purse and medications. The report was confirmed by a man living with the woman.

School officials confirmed that Unicoi County High School, Middle School and Intermediate School, the Career Technical Education Center and Love Chapel Elementary School had been locked down around 1:15 p.m. as deputies searched the area for the two men.

After searching the area, deputies returned to the house and the man recanted the story, saying the home invasion never happened. The woman's purse and pills were found inside the house.

No names had been released, and the sheriff said a determination about any charges was pending.

Keep visiting JohnsonCityPress.com for details.

Earlier report at 1:15 p.m.:

ERWIN — Unicoi County's secondary schools and one elementary school have been locked down in a precaution as authorities search for two men who robbed someone in the area.

School officials confirmed that Unicoi County High School, Middle School and Intermediate School, the Career Technical Education Center and Love Chapel Elementary School had been locked down around 1:15 p.m.

Elemergency radio transmissions indicated that Unicoi County Sheriff's Office deputies were looking for two men who robbed someone. At least one person had fled along Martin Creek Road.

Keep visiting JohnsonCityPress.com for details.

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