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Pawned items link teens to Church Hill burglary

April 12th, 2012 10:47 pm by Jeff Bobo

CHURCH HILL — Church Hill police solved a two-month-old burglary this week after one of the alleged culprits, the victims’ nephew, reportedly sold a stolen Apple iPod and a PSP handheld game to a Rogersville pawn shop.


On Feb. 15, Church Hill Police Department Detective Kevin Grigsby responded to a residential burglary at 231 Pine St., where someone had forced entry into the home by breaking a door glass.


Michelle Aistrop reported an estimated $800 in property missing including a .22-caliber pistol, Apple iPod and PSP handheld game.


Grigsby said he located the iPod and PSP game Monday at A to Z Pawn Shop in Rogersville, where the items had allegedly been pawned for $85 by the victims’ nephew, Aaron Lee Aistrop, 18, 5007 Carters Valley Road, Church Hill.


Grigsby said Aaron Aistrop initially denied any involvement in the burglary but later gave a written statement admitting to his participation.


He also allegedly implicated a co-defendant, Joseph Ross Belcher, 353 Shipley Road, whose arrest Tuesday occurred on his 19th birthday.


“(Aistrop) stated that he and Belcher were hoping to obtain narcotics from the home and that he received $50 for pawning the victim’s property and gave the rest of the money to Belcher,” Grigsby said.


The two were also charged in an attempted burglary that occurred at that same residence on April 4 in which nothing was taken.


Grigsby was called back to 231 Pine St. on April 4, where Mike Aistrop showed him damage to a rear door to his home, which apparently had been done with a pickax lying on the walkway beside the door.


There was also a small mark on a rear glass door, and from the damage it appeared someone had unsuccessfully attempted to gain entry to the Aistrops’ home, Grigsby said.


During his Monday interview, Aaron Aistrop reportedly denied involvement in the second burglary and blamed Belcher.


But Aaron Aistrop’s mother told police that on April 4 her son and Belcher left her home together.


“I asked (Aaron Aistrop) about what his mother stated, and he replied that he and Belcher went to the victims’ home to break in, but they drove by when he observed the victims’ truck at home,” Grigsby said. “(Tuesday) I spoke with Joseph Belcher, who gave a statement that he drove (Aistrop) to the victim’s home on the date of the offense.”


Grigsby added, “Belcher stated (Aistrop) exited his vehicle and was gone for a short period of time, and then returned without any property. Belcher stated he did not know that (Aistrop) had tried to break into the home.”


Both teens were charged with two counts of aggravated burglary and one count of theft over $500.


Both have been released on $10,000 bond and are scheduled for arraignment in Hawkins County Sessions Court April 23.


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