Former Lynn Garden Subway manager charged with robbery, false report

Rain Smith • Nov 13, 2008 at 12:00 AM

The manager of a Kingsport Subway restaurant has been arrested after police say he falsely reported a robbery of the store.

According to an affidavit filed in a Sullivan County court, Eric Lattimore, 28, of 1516 Fuller St., attempted to fabricate the robbery with an accomplice before staging the incident by himself.

Kingsport police responded to the Lynn Garden Drive restaurant on Tuesday. Lattimore told 911 he had been robbed. According to police, Lattimore said an unknown man snatched away the deposit bag as he walked it to the bank.

But after investigators reviewed surveillance video, talked with potential witnesses and searched the area with dogs, they found little evidence to substantiate his story.

According to an affidavit filed Thursday, detectives learned Lattimore may have planned to stage the robbery with another individual. They located this person, who said he was approached by Lattimore the week before.

Lattimore allegedly supplied this individual with keys to the store and safe and a PIN to turn off the alarm system. Lattimore also allegedly promised to deactivate the restaurant’s video surveillance equipment.

On Sunday, the day the scheme was supposed to be carried out, Lattimore’s alleged accomplice backed out of the plan. According to court records he returned the store keys to Lattimore, who then hatched a second plot.

Lattimore allegedly asked the individual to enter on Monday night with a gun. He would then hand over the store’s money — which would be more than usual as Lattimore would not make Monday’s deposit.

This time video surveillance would be functioning properly and record the incident, but Lattimore would give his accomplice time to flee before calling police.

This would-be partner in crime told police that he again refused to take part.

According to the affidavit, several facts learned during the investigation corroborate the story of this unnamed witness.

Lattimore’s supervisor reported Monday’s money was not deposited, which was very unusual. It was also discovered that the store’s video surveillance system had been unplugged over the weekend.

Considering the evidence, detectives believe Lattimore acted alone in stealing money from the safe and reported Tuesday’s robbery as a cover-up. When they approached Lattimore with their suspicions he refused to talk about the incident and resigned from Subway.

On Wednesday Lattimore was arrested and charged with theft over $1,000, a class D felony, and false reporting of an emergency, a class C felony. He was jailed on a $7,000 bond with a court date set for Jan. 15.

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