Dog helps police capture a car thief in Sweetwater - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Dog helps police capture a car thief in Sweetwater

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MCMINN COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

Sweetwater Police say a junkyard dog helped them catch a suspected car thief red handed.

According to the police report, the dog kept a woman hiding underneath a car for several minutes until police arrived and the arrest helped solve two cases of theft from the same body shop.

7-year-old, Chester has a pretty busy schedule at James Body Shop and Towing in Sweetwater, Tennessee.

He lays around, chews on bones and most importantly protects the junkyard from stray cats and birds trespassing on his land.

Owners say the mutt is friendly with all customers. Some would even say he's all bark.

"He is a good dog," said Patrick Ayers, owner's son. " If he doesn't know you it can be a little scary, he'll bark at you and carry on."

Shop owners noticed a customer's wrecked Nissan Altima missing from their lot in early January. Officers later found it abandoned at a nearby gas station in Niota.

"We noticed a car was gone and then the owner came to pick up another car and it was gone," said Ayers. 

Both vehicles were valued at nearly $30,000 each. Patrick believes that's money that would have had to come out of his dad's pocket, had it not been for Chester. Police credit the canine with catching the alleged car thief red handed.

"He was acting all funny and running through the yard and stuff so my other brother walked the fence then we seen her up and under one of the cars and he kept her under there until the cops got here," said Ayers. "He didn't let her go until police got there."

 Police found 46-year-old, Julie Brown hiding underneath a car with Chester on guard.

Officials say Brown later confessed to taking other vehicles from the property. Investigators tracked down the second stolen vehicle and found it being driven by Brown's friend Nicole Black.

"He knew something was going on whenever she was out here," said Ayers.

The Ayers are thankful for their junkyard dog. They say he's taking his watch dog duties very seriously now and anyone thinking of hopping that fence...

"Yea I'd second guess it," said Ayers. 

Should know they'll never forget the junkyard dog's citizen's arrest and neither will he.

Julie Brown is charged with theft of property over $10,000 dollars, burglary of a motor vehicle and criminal trespassing. Deputies say she's still in jail on a $25,000 dollars bond. Investigators say text messages revealed Nicole Black knew the car she was driving was stolen. She has been charged with having possession of stolen property.

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