|Loudon chief surprised by arrest of part time officer
By Jim Balloch knoxnews.com
MADISIONVILLE — Two men, one of whom is a part time police officer for the city of Loudon, were arrested today by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and charged with nearly two dozen burglaries.
They were identified as Steve Robert Gutt, 24, whose booking information states he is a Loudon city police officer, and Hubert Phillip Elam Jr., 54.
Each man is charged with 23 counts of aggravated burglary and one count of theft over $1,000, according to the sheriff’s office.
Loudon City Manager Lynn Mills said Gutt, who lives in Sweetwater, was fired immediately after his arrest.
Gutt had been working for the police department since April, but only on a part time basis. Mills said Gutt had no regular schedule, was called in only when needed and paid for the time he worked.
Loudon Police Chief James Webb declined to comment on the investigation but he said that Gutt, prior tot being hired, had passed a background check and polygraph test and had completed 120 hours of training required for a part time officer.
Webb said there were no prior problems with Gutt, and the only inkling that something might be amiss occurred last week, when Gutt told him that he had been fired from a security guard job over an “attendance” issue.
Webb said that Monroe County informed him of the case Wednesday night and that Gutt was arrested at 7 a.m. Thursday.
“We were just as shocked as everyone else,” Mills said. “We hope that it isn’t true, but, obviously, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office feels they had enough evidence to charge him.”
Gutt and Elam both may be involved in several in several more burglaries, and other individuals may be arrested, according to a statement issued Thursday by the sheriff’s office.
The arrests came after a confidential informant gave Monroe County Sheriff’s Capt. Detective Michael Morgan and Lt. Detective Travis Jones information about 30 burglaries.
The officers obtained search warrants for three residences in Monroe County, which were executed Wednesday night and today.
The investigation was continuing Thursday. Bonds and a court date have not been set.
Knoxnews.com contributor Hugh Willett contributed to this report.
More details as they develop online and in Friday’s News Sentinel.
Loudon Police officer fired following arrest for