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Alert Food City worker's tip helps police arrest Kingsport man allegedly burglarizing business

Rain Smith • Jul 19, 2010 at 12:42 PM

An observant Food City employee on break reportedly saw a man taking chainsaws and weed trimmers from a neighboring business Saturday morning, helping police catch the alleged burglar in the act.

According to an arrest report, at 3:53 a.m. Kingsport police responded to a call of a burglary at Warranty One Mobile Mower, 1785 Fort Henry Drive. The were called by an employee of the nearby Food City, who allegedly "witnessed a male taking a weed eater and other items from the property."

The responding officer reports approaching from the grocery store parking lot with his squad car lights off, then exiting his vehicle.

"As I got closer to the property I observed a white male wearing black gloves come running out from behind the dumpster," reads the officer's narrative.

After a brief foot chase, the suspect allegedly stopped and was placed in cuffs. Police say the man, identified as Jeffrey R. Walker, 47, of 268 Clint St., was attempting to run to his vehicle that was parked at Food City.

According to police, two weed trimmers had been placed by the trunk of his vehicle, while two chainsaws were on the ground between his car and the business. The officer reports finding four additional weed eaters had been taken from inside a chain link fence and were laying outside the business. Bolt cutters and a large cut in the fence were reportedly found.

Walker was arrested and charged with burglary, larceny and vandalism. Police say he signed a written statement admitting to the theft.

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