Joshua A. Layne, 20, of 606 East Sevier Ave., Apt. 90, was arrested by Kingsport police on Monday. Det. Cpl. Martin Taylor said he first began investigating Layne’s alleged theft spree on June 11. That’s when a 16-foot flatbed trailer was reported stolen from Freedom Collision, 1933 Brookside Drive.
On Friday, police were alerted to a vehicle theft at Tennessee Best Title Loans, 1409 East Stone Drive. In that incident, a repossessed Chevrolet Caprice had been stolen during the night. Police say Layne has no relationship to the vehicle’s previous owner.
Taylor said checks at local metal recyclers revealed the car had been sold to OmniSource Inc., 4216 West Stone Drive. A review of video surveillance footage at the business reportedly revealed Layne as the seller, and he had transported the car to the facility on a trailer.
Taylor says he attempted to speak with Layne at his Kingsport residence on Monday afternoon, but no one would answer the door. Contact was established by phone, but Layne allegedly told police he was in Johnson City and couldn’t meet with officers.
While at Layne’s residence, Taylor reportedly observed a utility trailer with black paint over several decals. After locating a VIN on the trailer, he learned it was the property of a Penske rental location out of Monroe, La., and had been reported as stolen in that jurisdiction.
During a second trip to Layne’s apartment, police took him into custody and charged him with the theft of the Penske trailer and the car from the title company.
During subsequent interviews with Layne’s girlfriend, police allegedly learned of his connection to the June 11 trailer theft in Kingsport. Taylor said the female started talking about a trailer located on Cherokee Village Drive, where police responded to find the property that had been stolen from Freedom Collision.
That discovery prompted an additional theft charge against Layne.