Kingsport Times-News: Hawkins burglary victim recognizes suspect from Times News article

Hawkins burglary victim recognizes suspect from Times News article

Jeff Bobo • Aug 8, 2018 at 9:30 PM

CHURCH HILL — Hawkins County deputies charged a Church Hill man with auto burglary and theft Wednesday after the victim reportedly identified the suspect through an article that was published in the Times News Saturday.

Matthew Scott Forbis was originally arrested and charged with theft over $10,000 on July 31. He was accused of stealing his grandmother’s SUV a day earlier.

At the time of Forbis’ arrest, his girlfriend, Eiron Railee Mulkey, was also arrested after deputies allegedly seized 2.1 ounces of meth with a street value of about $5,700 from her backpack.

An article about those arrests, which featured mugshots of the couple, was published online and in print by the Times News on Aug. 4.

On July 28, a man who resides on Carters Valley Road near Church Hill reported an auto burglary and theft at his home. He got a good look at the suspect, but didn’t know the man’s name until seeing it in the Times News.

The victim told HCSO Detective Jeff Greer that he came home from work around 3 a.m. on July 28 and was met by the man he later learned is Forbis, 21, 442 Ensor Road.

Forbis reportedly told the victim he had been dropped off at that location and his phone was dead, and he asked to borrow a charger so he could call for a ride.

The victim retrieved a charger from the residence and placed a lawn chair near an outside outlet where Forbis could let his phone charge. Forbis reportedly stated that he would place the charger and chair on the porch when he was finished.

About 20 minutes later, the victim went back outside to check on Forbis and allegedly observed him in his wife’s car. The victim told the HCSO that he gave chase, but Forbis got away.

Upon inspecting the vehicle, the victim found that his wife’s wallet was missing, along with its contents including $60, her driver’s license, insurance cards and other paperwork.

Forbis also allegedly kept the phone charger.

The victim’s wife texted him a link to the online version of the Aug. 4 article about Forbis’ arrest, and the victim identified him as the burglary suspect. 

Forbis is being held without bond in the Hawkins County Jail on the July 31 charge of theft over $10,000, where he was served Wednesday with new charges of auto burglary and theft under $1,000.

He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Sessions Court on the July 31 charge and will likely be arraigned on the new charges Monday.

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