Jail trusty charged with stealing worker's purse at animal shelter and walking away

John Thompson • Jan 19, 2018 at 10:30 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A prisoner in the Carter County Jail will be facing additional charges after he allegedly walked away from his work detail at the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter and for alleged theft of items belonging to an employee of the shelter.

Anthony James Hale, 29, was arrested by Sgt. Gene Moreland and Cpl. Matt Patterson of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday. He was charged with escape and theft.

The incident began with a theft call from the animal shelter. One of the employees said Hale worked there as a trusty and he had stolen her purse from an unlocked animal shelter vehicle. The employee said that after stealing the purse, Hale fled on foot.

Moreland and Patterson searched for Hale, and found him walking at the intersection of Smalling Road and Hart Road, about two miles from the animal shelter.

The officers said they found personal papers and property belonging to the animal shelter employee in Hale’s pockets. The items included a Vivitar Vivicam and assorted change. The purse and other contents, including driver’s license, a silver bracelet and cash, were not immediately found.

Officers said a security camera at the animal shelter showed Hale taking something from the animal shelter vehicle.

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