2 arrested, suspected of West Knox County burglary spree

2 arrested, suspected of West Knox County burglary spree, victim speaks out

Jason Leffew (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Jason Leffew (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
Kenneth Loveday (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Kenneth Loveday (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Two people caught burglarizing a West Knox County office early Friday morning may be connected to at least 20 other burglaries in the county, according to the Knox County Sheriff's Office.

Kenneth Carl Loveday Jr., 42, and Jason Boyd Leffew, 42, are charged with burglary and possession of burglary tools.

Undercover officers watched a vehicle pull into the parking lot at 224 South Peters Road, Suite 106 shortly after midnight and then drive out minutes later. Dispatch was then notified an alarm was going off at the business.

Deputies responded and confirmed the business had been burglarized.

Officers then stopped the suspects' vehicle on Gleason Drive at Gallaher View Road, finding a crow bar, pry bar and items taken from the business.

Loveday has also been charged with the March 17 burglary of VG's Bakery, 11552 Kingston Pike. Deputies say he admitted to breaking into the business by prying open the back door and looking for cash.

Both suspects have criminal histories involving burglary and theft.

Detectives believe the two suspects are connected to at least 20 business burglaries occurring in the Farragut, Cedar Bluff and Karns areas since February 12. The burglaries were at strip malls, office complexes, a warehouse and a golf course.

Most of the burglaries were committed by prying open the back door.

On February 12, 2014 around 8 PM Dr. Stephanie Hickey got a call that her veterinary clinic had been broken into.

Law enforcement was already on the scene when she arrived.

"The entire door frame had been splintered and pulled away this part of the door was bent in," said Dr. Hickey.

The locks were ripped out and the door was ajar.

"When we got here they had already fled. Thankfully no possessions were taken. No drugs or money was taken. No animals were harmed," said Dr. Hickey.

She credits law enforcement's quick response time and her high tech security system to the thieves fleeing empty handed.

"I believe the alarm system did actually scare them off. We have a live operator that comes on over the alarm intercom system that tells you that we know you are in the building. It says this is not a recording. The police are on their way. We are monitoring you. We know you are there," said Dr. Hickey.

After the attempted burglary she called another veterinary office and asked if they had trouble.

"They said well actually said yeah we were broken into last night the key pad panel to get inside the building had been ripped off the wall," said Dr. Hickey.

Hickey says veterinary clinics are unfortunately a common target for thieves.

"Most people who break into a veterinary office are drug seekers. They are looking for narcotic medications. They are looking for petty cash and anything of value that they could sell," said Dr. Hickey.

She is relieved an arrest has been made.

"This is definitely a message to all the thieves out there. You are going to get caught, eventually someone is going to catch you in the act," said Dr. Hickey.


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