published Friday, July 4th, 2014

Man admits to almost 70 burglaries all over Coffee County

A domestic violence call and gunshots drew the attention of Tullahoma police last month, but when the suspect in that incident started admitting to dozens of burglaries all over Coffee County, that got everybody's attention.

Shawn Michael Luce, 25, of Florida, was caught June 19 after a short foot pursuit. He was being sought after he reportedly fired gunshots near Tullahoma police investigating a domestic violence call on Normandy Road the night before.

Once in custody, Luce confessed to burglaries all over Coffee County, according to Capt. Frank Watkins of the sheriff's office and Tullahoma police investigator Tyler Hatfield.

They said sheriff and police investigators in Manchester and Tullahoma have been riding around the past couple of weeks with Luce while he points out the locations he has hit.

The confessions have "closed a lot of cases for us," Watkins said Thursday.

He said that word has gotten out and homeowners all over the county have been calling to see if he burglarized their places. Other residents were surprised to learn they were victims.

Hatfield said Luce now is connected to almost 70 cases, and all three agencies have been able to return a considerable amount of property to owners.

Tullahoma police answered the initial call that put Luce behind bars.

Around 11 p.m. CDT on June 18, Luce abandoned his vehicle in the middle of the road, running off with keys and weapons, according to a Tullahoma Police Department news release.

Tullahoma officers went to 1505 Normandy Road, where the victim in the domestic dispute was being interviewed, and six gunshots rang out nearby. A few minutes later, more shots were fired.

Local authorities brought in a Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter to help in the search, and Luce was caught the next day.

Luce is charged with aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment and theft of property, jail officials said.

Authorities said more charges related to the burglaries will probably follow from the Coffee County grand jury.

Luce remains in jail on $300,000 bond and records do not show a court date.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or twitter.com/BenBenton or www.facebook.com/ben.benton1 or 423-757-6569.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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