One of the suspects is the victim’s grandson, although he has denied knowledge of the thefts despite allegedly being identified by a pawn shop clerk.
On Feb. 5, Steve Hocking filed a report with the Church Hill Police Department stating that several firearms valued at more than $5,000 had been stolen from his residence on Browning Court.
There were no signs of forced entry, and Hocking said he and his wife are always home. Hocking provided a detailed list of the handguns, including serial numbers.
On Feb. 7, CHPD Detective Kevin Grigsby interviewed Hocking’s grandson, Brock Jeffery Swartwout, 28, who resides with Hocking. Swartwout reportedly stated he had no knowledge of the thefts.
“He was asked to write a list of friends he recently had at the home and if he had seen any of them possessing any firearms in the last month,” Grigsby said. “Swartwout stated, ‘No.’ He gave the name of Jon Gillenwater as one of the friends, but I learned during the investigation the actual person he was naming was Jonathan Parrish.
Grigsby checked Bud’s Pawn Shop and Gilbert’s Pawn Shop in Weber City, where records allegedly indicated that Jonathan Dale Parish, 28, 1535 Bloomingdale Road, Kingsport, had pawned two of Hocking’s stolen handguns on Feb. 1 and Feb. 3.
A witness allegedly identified Swartwout as being with Parish during those pawn shop visits.
Both were arrested by the CHPD on Tuesday and charged with theft over $1,000.
Grigsby said Parish gave a statement implicating himself and Swartwout in the theft of the firearms.
Parish allegedly admitted he bought the guns back from both pawn shops after Hocking reported the thefts to police on Feb. 5.
Parish also allegedly stated he gave the guns back to Swartwout, but he didn’t know what Swartwout had done with them.
“Swartwout continued to deny any involvement or knowledge of the theft and stated he had not told me about Mr. Parrish pawning the handguns during the previous interview because he was trying to help his friend,” Grigsby said. “Mr. Parrish gave a statement implicating himself and Swartwout in the theft of victim’s handguns.”
As of Wednesday, none of the guns had been recovered.
Parish was released from the Hawkins County jail on Tuesday on $3,000 bond. Swartwout remained in jail Wednesday on $5,000 bond.
Both were scheduled for arraignment Wednesday in Hawkins County Sessions Court.