Theft of cash, guns and guitars from bedridden woman estimated over $20K

Jeff Bobo • Jun 7, 2013 at 12:49 AM

CHURCH HILL — The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft of more than $20,000 in cash, guns and musical instruments that took place over the past year from the residence of a elderly bedridden woman in poor health.

Wednesday afternoon Frank Amyx Sr., 68, who lives on Ramey Town Road north of Allandale, reported that several of his instruments, mostly guitars, which were stored at his cousin’s Church Hill residence had been stolen.

Amyx told HCSO Deputy Kenny Lunsford Jr. that he is a truck driver and stores his guitars at the residence of Jeanette Lawson, 75, on Carolina Street in Church Hill.

“His cousin, Jeanette Lawson, is bedridden and has been in and out of hospitals and rehabilitation centers over the past year,” Lunsford stated in his report. “Lawson also has had several independent home sitters she has hired and fired over time. The last time the guitars were seen was estimated just over a year ago.”

Lunsford added, “Amyx states he had them in two separate bedrooms, under the bed and in the closets.”

Lawson told Lunsford that about a year ago she found $8,000 in cash missing from her Sentry home safe located in a bedroom closet, but she didn’t report it due to her health problems.

Lunsford inspected the safe and found no signs of forced entry. He used a key from Lawson’s purse to open the safe and found two empty bank bags where Lawson stated the money had been located.

Lawson stated she is also missing two collector pistols which she identified only as “John Wayne” and “Buffalo Bill” which had been stored under her bed in brand new cases.

Amyx said his instruments are valued at $12,200, and include a Ratliff mandolin valued at $3,000; a Gibson Hummingbird with a brown sunburst case valued at $2,500; a Martin guitar valued at $2,500; a Gill guitar valued at $1,200; a Taylor valued at $1,500; a black Fender valued at $500 and a violin in a new case valued at $1,000.

Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to contact the HCSO at 423-272-4848.

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