Signal Mountain police discover $8,000 worth of stolen items
A couple on vacation learned their home was burglarized while they were away. Signal Mountain police said thieves wiped the home clean but did not get too far.
A crash in the Hidden Brook neighborhood turned into a big find for Signal Mountain police and brought stolen property back to its owners.
It's not every day you see a Jeep parked in front of a home on Middle Creek Road.
Police say a driver crossed a lane of traffic and crashed into the yard.
"He wasn't sure where he was and what time it was," Officer Troy Kennedy said.
The officer smelled marijuana and noticed something else out of the ordinary.
"Once you started looking at the pattern of how they had it stored in the vehicle you knew right away something was up," Kennedy said.
Officers Kennedy said they searched the car and found several valuable items, including crystal meth, weapons, laptops, tools and lots of jewelry totaling more than $8,000.
"Diamond rings, some watches, some high-value jewelry and necklaces," he said.
Arrest documents said 27-year-old Blake Peoples was behind the wheel when he crashed.
An EPB laptop was also discovered, which helped investigators find out who the stolen items belonged to.
Kennedy said the owners were on vacation and didn't even know their home was wiped clean.
"The couple was very surprised this happened; they were in disbelief. There was a lot of emotion and a lot of shock," Kennedy added.
The Signal Mountain Police Department said this is one of the largest theft cases they have seen in a while.
Kennedy said it's a good reminder for everyone to always lock their cars and homes at all times. He also advised residents to always store valuables in a secure location and document everything.
"I would use a safe, a safety deposit box or some other security means and take pictures of your valuables and keep those in a file somewhere," he added.
Investigators said they recovered all of the stolen items and returned them to the owners this week.
Chattanooga police said Kortney Nabors has an active warrant for felony burglary for assisting in the theft.
If you know where she is, call the Chattanooga Police Department at 423-698-2525.