Alleged Cocke County art thief nabbed when he returns for more

Alleged Cocke County art thief nabbed when he returns for more

Posted: Updated:
"When he returned a second time, that's when our officers noticed him in the area and the pursuit began," Sheriff Armando Fontes said. "When he returned a second time, that's when our officers noticed him in the area and the pursuit began," Sheriff Armando Fontes said.
Luis Rafael Rodriguez Ortiz (source: Cocke County Sheriff's Office) Luis Rafael Rodriguez Ortiz (source: Cocke County Sheriff's Office)

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

NEWPORT (WATE) - A would-be burglar nearly got away with artwork and other items valued at almost $30,000 in Cocke County, but his crime was foiled when he went back for more.

Cocke County detectives say Luis Rafael Rodriguez Ortiz, 38, took expensive Princess Diana dolls, oil paintings, a bronze statue and other valuables from a home on Highway 25E.

Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes says Ortiz took the items from a vacant home over Thanksgiving.

Ortiz was nabbed when he returned a second time for more art. An officer was at the house investigating the case when Ortiz arrived.

"He took some of the items to his residence. When he returned a second time, that's when our officers noticed him in the area and the pursuit began," Sheriff Fontes said.

Detectives eventually recovered the stash Ortiz had allegedly taken.

Though he has a criminal history, investigators do not think Ortiz went to the house specifically for the artwork. They believe he planned to rob the house, but only realized the value of the items when he stumbled on them.

  • More Cocke County NewsMore>>

  • Newport man arrested for 12th DUI

    Newport man arrested for 12th DUI

    Steven C. Edwards, 55, is charged with DUI 12th offense, driving on revoked 7th offense, violation of the implied consent law, and being a habitual motor vehicle offender.More >>
    Steven C. Edwards, 55, is charged with DUI 12th offense, driving on revoked 7th offense, violation of the implied consent law, and being a habitual motor vehicle offender.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.