Friday, November 12, 2010

Two more arrests made involving "car clouting" in the Smokies

Earlier this week I reported that several arrests have been made in the Great Smoky Mountains involving car break-ins and thefts. This mornings' NPS Digest is reporting that two more arrests have been made involving 15 vehicle break-ins in recent weeks. Here's the report:

Beginning on September 20th and ending on October 29th, approximately 15 vehicle larcenies occurred within the park at various trailheads, with the vast majority being in the Greenbrier area.

Ranger Jared St. Clair led an investigation by his district ranger staff. They were joined by a Forest Service special agent because many larcenies were also occurring on Forest Service lands. Two suspects were ultimately identified – James and Jamie Walker of Cosby, Tennessee.

On November 3rd, the Walkers were arrested by local police on unrelated charges. When special agent Jeff Carlisle and the USFS special agent interviewed them at the county jail, they admitted to several of the break-ins. Carlisle and St. Clair again interviewed one of the Walkers a few days later. During that interview, he admitted to all the break-ins and added two others. A presentation will be made to the assistant US attorney and both will be charged with multiple felony counts, including breaking and entering, theft of property and bank fraud.

With the closing of these cases, the park has cleared the majority of open larceny cases. Three separate groups of car clouters have been arrested.


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