Loudon County homeowner catches break-in on camera, asks for help online
STEPHANIE BEECKEN-6 News Reporter
LENOIR CITY (WATE) - A Loudon County homeowner caught a man breaking into his home on camera and now wants your help to track the suspect down.
It all happened Friday around 11:30 am. In just 30 minutes, the suspect stole thousands of dollars worth of items, but the presence of a security camera means investigators have a leg up in this case.
The home break-in video was posted to multiple social media accounts and shared hundreds of times. Now detectives are investigating a couple of leads thanks to the homeowner's proactive approach.
"What I really dislike is that loss of security and peace in your own home," said Nathan Blevins.
Blevins installed security cameras in his home after a burglary in 2009. An arrest was never made due to a lack of evidence, but this time when someone broke in last Friday, the act was caught on video.
"He has a screwdriver. He was able to pry it open, and you can see it pretty clearly on the video as he's entering. And see the tool in his back pocket as he's walking through the house," said Blevins.
The man spent about 30 minutes in Blevins' home, taking what he could and hauling off items.
"He did get some of our weapons. He stole a laptop and iPad. He stole one of our TVs. I have evidence of him carrying stuff out the door," said Blevins.
He called the Loudon County Sheriff's Office and made a report.
"The officer encouraged us to share the video," said Blevins.
Blevins put pictures and part of the video on multiple social media sites warning others to be on the lookout. Detective Sgt. Charlie Cosner says the video has helped in the investigation. He recommends other homeowners be proactive with security.
"As law enforcement, it's a big aid for us to be able to put this out saying, 'Hey, here is the picture of the person doing it,'" said Sgt. Cosner.
Sgt. Cosner is already following multiple leads. He hopes others who may recognize the man in the video will call the Loudon County Sheriff's Office. Blevins hopes the video will lead to an arrest and deter other thefts.
"If the guy can get captured and know that you can't stroll into the home in the middle of the day and take items from them, that would be the biggest win," said Blevins.
Sgt. Cosner says if you do install cameras at your home put them at eye level, not up high. Investigators need a good image of the suspect's face.
Also often the video is backed up on hard drives so even if the camera is stolen or broken, the video remains. Detectives encourage homeowners to use security systems and post signs outside. In Loudon County, they average 20 to 30 home break-ins a month.
If you have any information about this case you're asked to call the Loudon County Sheriff's Office at (865) 458-9081.