Washington County dispatcher alerts off-duty husband of robbery at neighbor's home; suspect arrested

Rain Smith • Feb 4, 2009 at 12:00 AM

An Abingdon man has been arrested after apparently choosing the wrong house to burglarize -- and the most inopportune time to do so.

Washington County Virginia Sheriff Fred Newman says the incident occurred last Friday, and the suspect is believed to have committed a string of burglaries in the county.

Dispatchers received a call from a resident of Halls Bottom Road, reporting someone had broken into his home and was still inside. As dispatcher Brenda Lloyd was directing units to the locale, she realized the call was coming from a neighbor of her home.

She then called her husband, deputy Mark Lloyd, who was off-duty and at their residence.

Police say Deputy Lloyd met the suspect's vehicle as it was leaving the burglarized home, and followed it south on Lee Highway. The suspect turned north onto I-81 at Exit 10, where on-duty officers converged on the vehicle and made a felony traffic stop.

Steven Tanner Yates, 23, of 171 Hutton Street, Apt. No. 7, was arrested without incident.

In addition to Friday’s incident, he is charged with a string of other recent burglaries. Much of the stolen property -- including jewelry, firearms and electronic equipment -- has been recovered and is valued at $20,000.

Yates is charged with three counts of breaking and entering, three counts of grand larceny, one count of theft of a firearm, one felony count of eluding police, one count of reckless driving and one minor traffic violation. A charge of a felon in possession of a firearm is pending.

Yates is held at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in lieu of $12,000 secured bond.

“The dedicated efforts of this husband and wife team have resulted in this arrest and the recovery of a large amount of property,” said Sheriff Newman. “They are to be commended for their efforts.”

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