Knoxville police have arrested three suspects for multiple jewelry store heists that span several states.
One suspect was spotted grabbing two rings and fleeing the Kay Jewelers on Knoxville Center Drive Monday afternoon.
“An individual had gone in there and asked to see a couple different types of jewelry. When the clerk showed it to him, he grabbed them both and ran,” said Brian Foulks, an investigator with the Knoxville Police Department.
The suspect was seen robbing a Zales Store in West Town Mall hours later. Officers continued to track the suspect until he was seen again inside a Kay Jewelers on Parkside Drive. This time the officers were waiting for him. He was arrested without incident.
“Internally different stores were talking to each other as well,” said Foulks.
Then officers discovered a car with two men sitting behind the building across from the Kay’s. The other two suspects tried to flee and committed a hit-and-run near Campbell Station Road in an attempt to evade arrest. Officers stopped them about a block away.
When the officers investigated the car, they discovered hidden car tags and a pair of stolen earrings from Zales.
“Sometimes they’re pawned, sometimes they’re traded for different items, drugs or what not. Some people pay cash for them,” said Foulks.
Kordarious Childs, 24, was charged with theft. John Brown, 30, is also charged with theft with other outstanding warrants. Xavier Carter, 23, is charged with theft, felony evading and leaving the scene of an accident.
All three suspects face additional pending charges, with multiple cases pending from Shelby, Hamilton and Davidson counties in Tennessee. They also face charges stemming from other incidents in Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi.
“So far I’ve talked to seven or eight different agencies and at least $5,000 has been stolen at each location,” added Foulks.
Police say heists like this come and go in cycles.
“For retailers, communication is the key. Communicate with different stores, different law enforcement agencies about what you’re seeing, this type of person or this type of method of operation and hopefully eventually catch them all,” said Foulks.