Police: Rogersville men caught red-handed with stolen lawn equipment

Jeff Bobo • May 16, 2013 at 9:55 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Two men who allegedly stole a weed-eater and leaf blower out of a work truck Wednesday afternoon in Rogersville were arrested about an hour later carrying the equipment a few blocks away.

One of the suspects allegedly had a syringe in his sock “loaded” with Opana, a Schedule II controlled substance, when he was arrested.

Shortly before 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Rogersville Police Department Officer Jim Shanks responded to a complaint of a stolen Stihl weed-eater and leaf blower on Kyle Street.

Chad Clark said he parked his work truck on Kyle Street about 1 p.m. and some time after that, the equipment was stolen from the bed of the truck.

The total value of the weed-eater and leaf blower was listed at $868.

About 2:30 p.m. that day, Shanks was patrolling Hillcrest Street when he reportedly observed two men in a driveway, one of whom carried a Stihl leaf blower.

“I parked my vehicle, and as I approached the two males they walked toward the side of the residence,” Shanks said. “As I addressed them, one of the males stopped and the other kept walking.”

The suspect who stopped was Edward Natul “Chico” Rogers, 39, 238 Clifton St., Rogersville.

The other suspect, Christopher Lynn Gilliam, 34, 515 Clay St., Rogersville, was arrested by Officer Patrick Johnson on Hillcrest Street a short distance away.

Johnson allegedly found a syringe containing a clear liquid in Gilliam’s left sock. Gilliam allegedly admitted that the liquid was the painkiller Opana.

Gilliam was also wanted on a failure to appear warrant. He was charged with auto burglary, theft over $500, possession of Schedule II narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Rogers was charged with auto burglary and theft over $500. Both men remained held Thursday without bond pending arraignment set for Monday in Hawkins County Sessions Court.

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