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A suspect in a violent Aug. 11 home invasion was charged Thursday after he was already in custody on drug charges and for running from police after they tried to conduct a traffic stop.

Charles Pipkens, 27, fled from police but crashed into a brick wall in the 40 block of Scruggs Street, next to Norfolk Southern train tracks and not far from Lincoln Park, according to an arrest report.

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Charles Pipkens

Pipkens was ordered out of the vehicle, and officers found marijuana in the driver's side floor board in plain view, the arrest report states.

Upon searching the vehicle, officers found scales and business cards and a black backpack in the rear passenger's seat. The backpack contained:

  • 95 grams of marijuana
  • 11 oxycodone pills (10 mg)
  • A 3.5-gram bag of suspected ecstasy
  • A fully loaded .40 caliber pistol with 16 rounds of ammunition

Pipkens was taken into custody for questioning, and while at the police department, he was served with a slew of new charges in connection to the Aug. 11 home invasion.

On Aug. 11, police were called to a home in the 2600 block of Acuff Street, not far from Tunnel Boulevard, and met with the two victims, a man and a woman, according to court records.

They told police they had just gotten home from eating at a Waffle House.

The man went inside the home first, but the woman stayed behind because she had fallen asleep on the ride home, court records state.

When she got up a short time later to go inside, two men came out from behind the house, wearing all black and ski masks, court records show. Both suspects put a gun to her head and told her they were police officers and to not scream or make any noise.

After getting inside, the suspects zip tied the woman's hands together. A third suspect entered the home and told her she better cooperate or she would get hurt, court records state.

The suspects then found the man and pepper sprayed him and zip tied his hands together.

Once the two victims were restrained, the suspects ransacked the home, as if they were looking for something specific, according to court records.

They ended up taking $500 in cash, several pairs of Jordan sneakers and the woman's drugs. They tried to take a large container filled with more Jordan sneakers, but they ultimately left that behind.

After the suspects left, the woman was able to cut herself and the man free and call the police.

The woman identified Pipkens in a photo lineup as one of the suspects in the home invasion. Police haven't identified who the two other suspects are.

Since Aug. 11, at least four additional home invasions have taken place, court records state, all of which were carried out in the same manner.

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Lajeromeny L. Brown

Just last week on Oct. 11, Lajeromeny Brown, 40, was arrested in connection to an Aug. 15 armed robbery in which he and another suspect impersonated Chattanooga police officers.

Police have not identified the second suspect or confirmed whether the Aug. 11 and Aug. 15 incidents are connected.

Like Pipkens, Brown fled from Chattanooga police after they tried to conduct a felony traffic stop. He led police on a high-speed chase before crashing into the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks near the 7400 block of Noah Reid Road.

While no officers were injured, three police vehicles were damaged in the pursuit.

In the Aug. 15 robbery, the victim told police she was outside her home when approached by two men brandishing handguns and yelling "Chattanooga police" while forcing their way inside her home.

The suspects held the victim against her will while they stole electronics, a cellphone and a vehicle.

Brown was served with multiple charges, including aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, aggravated kidnapping, impersonating a police officer and assault on police.

More charges were filed against him late Friday afternoon for an incident that took place on Sept. 19. Those include three counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated robbery, carjacking, aggravated burglary of an occupied habitation and criminal impersonation.

Chattanooga police and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are continuing their investigation into the Aug. 15 robbery, according to a news release announcing Brown's arrest.

Federal agents also are involved in investigating the Aug. 11 robbery, though it's not clear which federal agency.

Contact staff writer Rosana Hughes at rhughes@timesfreepress.com or 423- 757-6327 with tips or story ideas. Follow her on Twitter @HughesRosana.

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