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Police: Man swims across river in attempted Eastman theft

Rain Smith • Aug 4, 2014 at 4:45 PM

A would-be automobile thief reportedly made extraordinary efforts to reach his intended target in Kingsport, swimming across the Holston River to access an Eastman parking lot.

Though he abandoned his attempt and fled the chemical company's property — allegedly swimming back to James C. White Drive — police are releasing surveillance images to solicit tips on his identity.The incident occurred on July 27 at approximately 12:05 a.m. According to a Kingsport Police Department press release, the man attempted to hot wire a 1995 Geo Tracker, stripping the ignition column in the process."What makes this particular incident unique is that the suspect is believed to have swum across the river adjacent to the property on his way to the scene of the crime, and swam back across the river to complete his getaway," stated KPD Public Information Office Tom Patton.Police say a suspect was captured on surveillance video as he walked along James C. White Drive, both on his way to and from his alleged dip into the North Fork of the Holston. Investigators say that on one clip, he's clearly seen dripping water and leaving wet footprints on the dry road.Anyone with information on the individual pictured is asked to contact KPD detectives at (423) 229-9429 or central dispatch at (423) 246-9111.

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