Accused church burglar caught on trail camera in separate burglaries

Jeff Bobo • Updated Feb 4, 2019 at 9:00 PM

SURGOINSVILLE — A Church Hill man who was wanted by the Hawkins County Sheriffs Office for allegedly stealing two brass apple butter kettles from a church last month was also captured on a trail camera in November allegedly stealing another $6,600 worth of tools and car parts.

Adam Matthew Rollins, 35, 130 Ford Lane, Church Hill, was arrested Saturday by the HCSO accused of stealing two 50 gallon brass kettles valued at $1,200 from the McFerrin United Methodist Church, 117 Mountain View Road, south of Church Hill.

Along with other apple butter cooking components, the total value of the stolen property was listed at $1,480.

The church theft was reported on Jan. 19, and police said Rollins allegedly sold the stolen kettles for $100, but they have been recovered.

The same cannot be said for $6,600 worth of tools and car parts that were stolen from two out-buildings on Highway 11-W in Surgoinsville on Nov. 7.

Surgoinsville Police Chief James Hammonds told the Times News on Monday that several photos were recovered from a trail cam used on the property.

At 8:28 a.m., the male suspect, later identified as Rollins, is seen on camera taking down a gate near the buildings. Rollins was observed leaving in a white Jeep Cherokee at 11:21 a.m.

When the trail cam photos were distributed to Hawkins County law enforcement, Rollins was identified by officers who knew him and knew he was driving a white Jeep Cherokee.

On Monday, Hammonds interviewed Rollins at the Hawkins County Jail. Rollins allegedly admitted to burglarizing both buildings on Nov. 7 and stealing the parts and tools, including carburetors, a transmission and welding equipment .

Rollins reportedly told Hammonds that he got scared and threw the stolen parts and tools into the Holston River.

Rollins is charged with three counts of burglary, vandalism, theft over $1,000 and theft under $1,000. He was being held in jail with no bond pending an appearance in Hawkins County Sessions Court.

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