Bradley Co. family finds alleged burglar asleep on their front p - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Bradley Co. family finds alleged burglar asleep on their front porch

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BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

A Bradley County man is accused of breaking into a home in the middle of the night. He might have gotten away with it if he didn't fall asleep on the front porch.

The family told authorities they found the suspect sleeping outside their front door on Polk County Avenue, surrounded by items allegedly taken from the home.

James Donald Roderick Chambers, 48, of Bradley County is charged with aggravated burglary, auto burglary and theft.

Erica Sheppard and her husband, Josiah, didn't hear anyone inside the home while their four young children were asleep.

A sleeping stranger was the last person she expected to find on her front porch on Tuesday morning.

"He took his shoes off, he took my purse, he used it as a pillow, and literally just camped out there for the rest of the night," Sheppard said.

The alleged burglar was cuddled up with a trash bag, cans of tuna, soda and perfume. It didn't take long for the family to realize that those random items belonged to them.

Chambers told the Sheppards that he went inside their house to use their bathroom, but didn't know how he got there.

"This man didn't have a violent nature. The intent was not to harm us in any way. I think he really did 'stumble' into our house," Sheppard explained.

Chambers lives just a half mile away on 8th Street. He stuck around until Bradley County deputies arrived, telling them he couldn't remember anything about the night.

The Sheppards say they've learned their lesson when it comes to double checking their locks.

"We're glad that everybody's safe. (Chambers) is safe, we're safe. We got all of our things back, and really to us, that's the most important thing," she said.

The home is now equipped with an alarm system. But no hard feelings against the sleepy burglar.

"We just hope that this guy can get whatever help he can get, and change his life so that this doesn't happen to anyone else," said Sheppard.

Chambers is currently being held in the Bradley County Jail. His bond is set at $20,000.

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