published Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Convicted burglar nabbed after spree of break-ins

A convicted burglar whose charges were tossed out by a judge last year after police put a GPS device on a car without a warrant faces 10 new charges related to a rash of break-ins from last month.

Ricky Lebron Davis, 27, faces five counts of aggravated burglary and five counts of theft of property, according to Chattanooga police.

Police said people were home when Davis broke into their houses.

"When you go into a house that's inhabited, that's a dangerous person," Chattanooga police Chief Bobby Dodd said about the risk Davis presents.

Dodd said last year's cases were thrown out after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it illegal for investigators to place tracking devices on vehicles without a warrant. Davis, who previously served four years in prison for break-ins in the North Chattanooga area in 2005, has remained on investigators' radar. Those break-ins, on Hanover Street, Pine Ridge Road and Westwood, Forest, Woodland and Bell avenues, stirred up residents worried about the safety of their community.

Davis now is accused of breaking into a residence at 211 Eveningside Drive on Oct. 14 and going through a man's backpack beside his bed, waking him. The man's car keys and wallet were taken, resulting in the theft of his 2002 Lexus, according to an arrest report.

Two more break-ins took place shortly after at 3811 Monte Vista Drive and 3916 Sunbeam Ave.

The Lexus was found a few days later with items from the other two homes inside the car, including car keys and paperwork and a receipt from Citi Trends where Davis reportedly had gone shopping. Davis was caught on surveillance footage at the store, police reported.

Later that month, police said another break-in was reported at 508 East View Drive. A woman was able to use her cellphone to locate her stolen iPad in the 3800 block of 12th Avenue inside a Honda Odyssey that was stolen from 476 S. Crest Road. Electronic items from the Crest Road residence were also found inside the van with Davis' fingerprints on them, court records show.

"Due to the burglaries happening in a close area and within close time and the belongings being found from both burglaries in the car where the prints were found, it is safe to assert that the defendant was involved in the commission of the burglaries," an arrest report states.

As of Tuesday, Davis remained in custody at the Hamilton County Jail on a $750,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court before Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck on Dec. 3.

Contact staff writer Beth Burger at bburger@timesfreepress.com or 757-6406. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/abburger.

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