Pest control worker charged with theft in Erwin

Brad Hicks • Jan 8, 2013 at 9:52 AM

ERWIN — An undercover investigation into stolen money at an Erwin residence resulted in the Friday arrest of a Washington County man for allegedly taking money from a safe during visits to conduct pest control.

Bradley A. Brown, 33, 3835 Old State Route 34, Limestone, was charged with two counts of theft over $1,000 and one count of possession of a schedule IV controlled substance.

According to a release from the sheriff’s department, investigators conducted an undercover operation at an Erwin residence Friday. The resident had reported that a large sum of money had been taken from her residence after a pest control visit from Brown, who was representing a local pest control business, according to officials. Investigators opened the safe where the resident kept her money and marked the remaining money, the release states.

A call had previously been made to Brown to have him come to the residence to spray for insects, and investigators positioned themselves outside the residence. After Brown’s arrival, the alleged victim left her residence as requested to avoid chemical inhalation, according to the sheriff’s department release.

Deputies in unmarked vehicles followed Brown after he left the residence while Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley inventoried the safe, and Hensley notified UCSD Chief Deputy Frank Rogers that $1,700 in marked currency was missing, the release states.

Rogers conducted a traffic stop on Brown’s vehicle and, when questioned, Brown admitted to taking the $1,700 and handed Rogers the money, according to the release. Brown was searched after being taken into custody, and three pills identified as being a schedule IV drug were found in his possession, the release said.

According to officials, Brown also confessed to previously taking $4,700 from the victim’s safe during a prior pest control visit.

Brown is scheduled to appear in Unicoi County Sessions Court on Jan. 17.

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