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Arrests made in LUB burglary

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By Jennifer Caldwell

Less than a week after thieves walked off from LaFollette Utilities with several thousand dollars in copper wire and tools two men have been arrested in the case.

Through their investigation LaFollette Police Det. Sgt. Jason Henegar and Det. Lt. Monty Miller were able to determine that Gregory L. Morris, 34, of 354 East Dykes Lane, Speedwell, and Jason Morgan, 25, of 1308 Loop Road, Apartment 141, are allegedly responsible for cutting the fence at the utility’s main substation and taking six 25-pound rolls of copper wire, four chain saws and a couple of cordless staple guns.

According to Henegar, he and Miller began their search for the thieves by checking with scrap yards in LaFollette and Knoxville for the missing copper wire.  

After turning up nothing at any of the local or Knoxville scrap dealers, Henegar said he and Miller expanded their search into Kentucky.

A stop at a Williamsburg recycling center turned up pay dirt for the detectives.

“There are four different scrap yards in the area and we were able to locate 150 pounds of copper wire at the third one we visited,” Henegar said.

Further investigation revealed that Morris had used his identification to complete the transaction at the Williamsburg business and the duo had transported the wire to the center in Morgan’s truck.

Last Thursday, detectives located Morgan at his residence in the Village Apartment complex.  According to Henegar, more than 50 pounds of copper wire were found inside the apartment, but Morris was not arrested at that time.

Morris was later found hiding in an apartment next door to Morgan’s.

Miller and Officer Steve Wallen stood by at the back door of the residence while Henegar knocked on the front door.  

“He (Morris) ran out the back door of the apartment and was apprehended by Lt. Miller and Officer Wallen,” Henegar said of how Morris was caught.

Morris was arrested on an outstanding warrant for cultivating marijuana.

Morgan, who had obtained an attorney, turned himself in to Henegar at LPD on Tuesday afternoon.

Both Morris and Morgan are charged with burglary, theft of property $10,000 to $59,000 and vandalism under $1,000.