Chattanooga man arrested after more than $100,000 stolen from dead man's house

Chattanooga man arrested after more than $100,000 stolen from dead man's house

August 24th, 2011 by Staff Report in Local - Breaking News

Michael Stoker

Michael Stoker

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

A man who cleared out a dead man's home - even stealing his cars and his washing machine - is now facing theft charges, and police are still finding the man's estate scattered across town.

Over the last month, police have recovered more than $100,000 worth of items stolen from the estate of Jimmy Callahan, who died in July, according to Chattanooga police spokeswoman Sgt. Jerri Weary.

Jimmy's son, Ka-Cee Callahan, told police that his father's house had been virtually wiped out while his father was in the hospital before his death.

Callahan's family immediately suspected that his father's house guest, Michael Stoker, 22, had taken an unknown number of items from the home while Callahan was in the hospital, Weary said.

Stoker was arrested July 27 and charged with theft of property and was released the next day on a $6,000 bond, Weary said, adding that more charges are expected.

Stoker was found with about $40,000 worth of the stolen items, Weary said, and police discovered more items at the home of Stoker's mother house and other locations.

"It's unknown exactly what all was taken which makes the recovery process that much more astounding," said Investigator William Puckett about the theft. "I'm still processing recovered items. This is a big case."

Ka-Cee Callahan told police that several items including a Chrysler Town and Country minivan, a Ford F-350 truck and several high-priced lawn and garden items, were missing.

The investigation is ongoing, Weary said.