DeKalb deputies halt burglary

DeKalb deputies halt burglary

July 1st, 2011 by Staff Reports in News

DeKalb deputies halt burglary

Two DeKalb County (Ala.) Sheriff's Office deputies were dispatched Wednesday evening to a house on County Road 24 and interrupted what authorities say may have been a burglary in progress, according to a news release.

The deputies found a man and woman in the front yard, and witnesses told authorities the couple had been inside the house and the owner had been away for weeks, Sheriff Jimmy Harris said in a news release.

After the owner confirmed that he was in Texas, Jason Bennett, 32, and Tina Clontz, 34, both of Boaz, were arrested and charged with third-degree burglary, Harris said.

Authorities searched the area but don't think anything was taken from the house, he said.

When Bennett was searched, deputies found a knife in his pocket and a bag of unidentified pills that were sent to the drug task force, Harris said. Authorities also discovered Bennett had an outstanding warrant for nonpayment of child support.

Both Bennett and Clontz remain in the DeKalb County Jail awaiting bonds, records show.

Two fires destroy house in 1 day

Chattanooga fire investigators blame an electrical malfunction for sparking a fire in a large home in the Mountain Creek Road area Thursday morning, according to department spokesman Bruce Garner.

They also believe a "hot spot" created by the first fire ignited a second fire in the same house at 5746 Bobby Dale Lane, which completely destroyed the structure, Garner said.

Homeowner Heinz Lange told firefighters he awoke about 5 a.m. to the smell of smoke. He said the smoke blocked him from going downstairs, so he escaped through a bedroom window, scraping his arm. Once outside, he called 911.

Chattanooga firefighters located the fire in the downstairs laundry room and extinguished the blaze quickly.

The rest of the house had smoke damage, but most of the fire damage was contained to the laundry room area, Garner said.

Just four hours later, firefighters were dispatched to the same house - now completely engulfed in flames.

Though firefighters once again were able to get the blaze under control, Garner said the house was a complete loss, with damages reaching more than $200,000.

Garner said the Fire Investigation Division believes the second fire is directly related to the first one.

After a fire is extinguished, firefighters routinely perform what is called a "salvage and overhaul" operation. They cut into walls and ceilings to expose and extinguish potentially volatile hot spots.

They also use thermal imaging cameras to look for the hot spots, Garner said.

Despite those efforts , investigators believe a hot spot - hidden out of view in the walls or in the ceiling - reignited the fire.

Two burglaries in Rossville

Authorities are searching for a suspect who likely robbed multiple mechanic shops over the weekend by cutting holes in the buildings' walls.

Tools and machines worth more than $10,000 were reported stolen from two shops in Rossville on Friday and Saturday, an incident report shows.

Catoosa County Sheriff's Capt. Scott Jordan called the burglaries unusual.

"We haven't had anything like that happen in some time," he said.

The Automotive Repair Shop owner on Cloud Springs Road reported the first burglary on Friday evening when he went to the shop and found at least $10,000 worth of tools missing and a large hole in the wall, an incident report shows.

A similar burglary was reported Saturday at a shop off Scruggs Road. Two men who worked from the shop reported they found a hole cut in the back wall and dozens of tools and a laptop stolen from the garage, the report states.

Authorities don't have any suspects at this time, but they the believe the burglaries were related because of the similarities, Jordan said.

If you have any information on these cases contact the Catoosa County Sheriff's office a 706-935-2424. Anyone with information leading to the arrest and prosecution could receive a cash reward up to $1,000.

Two charged in robbery

East Ridge police have arrested a teenager and a juvenile, accusing them of using a stun gun to rob a man early Thursday morning at a local hotel.

Spencer Tate, 18, of Ringgold, Ga., and a juvenile suspect will be charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary, said Erik Hopkins, spokesman for the East Ridge Police Department.

Both also must face charges in Catoosa County, Ga., before being extradited back to Tennessee, Hopkins said.

About 1 a.m., police responded to a call at the Knights Inn at 6650 Ringgold Road. The victim, Blake Pappas, told officers that two men - one black, one white - knocked on his door and asked to come inside to charge a cell phone. Knowing one of the men, Pappas said he let them in.

The white male then used a stun gun several times on Pappas, while the second man snatched a purse, Hopkins said. Both fled the scene in a red BMW.

Deputies from the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office later notified East Ridge that the car had been located and the suspects apprehended, Hopkins said. Deputies found the stun gun and the victim's purse inside the vehicle, he said.