Daniel J. Kilgore, 18
An 18-year-old and a juvenile have been arrested after allegedly being caught with items stolen from two vehicles, then admitting to at least seven other auto burglaries.
Police say all of the victim's vehicles were left unlocked, making them easy targets.
Law enforcement were alerted to the incidents early Wednesday morning. Kingsport police report Officer Mike Slater was on patrol in the area of Lawndale Circle at 1:15 a.m. when flagged down by a resident.
The man reported that someone had entered his unlocked Ford Mustang and removed his wallet, stealing $40 in cash. Some of the wallet's
contents were found in the street, and Officer Slater began making a report.
At about that time, central dispatch issued a BOLO for two suspicious individuals walking in a nearby neighborhood. Kingsport police say Slater responded to locate Daniel J. Kilgore, 18, of 1808 Kenwood Road, and a juvenile.
Both suspects allegedly wore backpacks, one of which was found to contain the stolen wallet, loose change and a digital camera. The other allegedly carried diapers and other child care products, along with a piece of paper with an address on Alameda Place.
When police visited the address and spoke with the resident, she allegedly reported the backpack with children's items had been stolen from her unlocked Scion.
Kilgore and the juvenile were arrested and charged with two counts of auto burglary. KPD Public Information Officer Tom Patton says they also admitted to entering at least seven additional unlocked vehicles in the surrounding neighborhood. Additional charges against the pair are pending.
Police have identified additional areas where other crimes potentially occurred as Warpath Drive, Ashley Street, Bridwell Street, Konnarock Road and Bruce Street. Residents are asked to check their vehicles and promptly report any stolen items.
The "vast majority" of auto burglaries reported in Kingsport involve unlocked vehicles, according to police. When entry is made by force to locked automobiles, an item of value is typically left in plain view.
Police remind the public to always lock their vehicles and remove valuables from sight.
"It doesn't really matter if you think it is valuable, it only matters if it looks valuable to a thief who may be looking in the window," Patton states in a press release. "In this case, an individual committed a felony to steal a backpack full of diapers."