Odd crime: Orange pool ball helps tie thief to burglary - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Odd crime: Orange pool ball helps tie thief to burglary

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MCMINN COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -  A stolen pool ball helped connect an alleged thief to crimes in McMinn County over the weekend.

"Some of our criminals don't have the best plan in place when they're going to commit a crime, and I think this is one of those cases," said McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy.

It may be how a stolen pool ball landed 29-year-old Eric Beadnell of Tellico Plains in jail over the weekend.

On Saturday, the Sheriff's Department received calls of a man walking around County Road 64 in Riceville who was carrying a gun and asking for money.

A vacant rental home on the same road had been broken into, but the only thing inside was a pool table and some pool balls.

Shortly after, deputies were called to a gas station just on the other side of the interstate to find the same guy passed out on a table.

According to the incident report, Beadnell said he "just wanted to go to sleep and see his mother." When officers searched him, they found two loaded handguns, a child's Spider-Man mask and an orange number-5 pool ball in his pocket.

When deputies went back to the home, the only ball missing was not the popular 8-ball, but the orange number 5 -- the same one in Beadnell's pocket.

"We encourage our officers to take extra steps, if there's anything present they can tie to a recent crime, to certainly follow up with that," Guy said. "It's just normally not a pool ball that will lead to solving burglary."

The Sheriff's Department is following up with the ATF to see if the stolen guns are tied to other recent thefts nearby.

"Maybe we prevented some other crimes in the area, so the officers did a good job following up on it, as humorous as it may be."

Beadnell is facing charges including aggravated burglary and unlawful possession of a firearm. He's being held in the McMinn County Jail.
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