SCOTTSBORO, Ala. - Authorities arrested a man wanted on multiple counts of burglary and other charges and took several other members of his family into custody for allegedly helping him elude police.
Johnny Lewis Payne, 38, of Bridgeport, Ala., was hiding in an air conditioner duct at his parents' home in Stevenson, Ala., when authorities caught up with him Friday, according to a news release.
Patricia Kay Payne, 60, of Stevenson, was charged with resisting arrest.
David Lee Payne, 39, and Terra LeAnn Payne, 28, also of Stevenson, were charged with hindering prosecution.
Nathan Joseph Austin, 30, of Henagar, Ala., was charged with resisting arrest.
Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office said a Bridgeport police officer saw Johnny Payne on Monday, lying in a ditch near a railroad track with a pair of bolt cutters, a ski mask, a Polaris Ranger UTV (later determined to be stolen) and three types of pills.
An arrest warrant was issued but Payne eluded authorities until Friday, Harnen said.
Payne is charged with three counts of possession of controlled substances, receiving stolen property 1st degree, possession of burglary tools and criminal mischief 1st degree. Harnen said Payne is a suspect in a number of thefts reported in the Bridgeport and Stevenson areas.
For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.