Five unemployed suspects considered breaking into houses near Eagleville as “going to work,” a Rutherford County sheriff’s detective said Tuesday.
Suspects charged were Keith Clements, 30, of Nashville, Brandon Mulac, 18, of Peachtree Street in Smyrna, Dalton Ray, 18, of Forrest Lane in Murfreesboro, Robert Graves, 18, of Almaville Road, and the juvenile.
They drove around and targeted houses at random, the detective said.
“If a house looked good, they would stop, knock on the door and if no one answered, they would kick the back door in and take what they could,” Weaver said. “They hit two, three or four houses a day until there was no more room in the car.”
When someone answered the door, they told the resident they were searching for a lost dog and leave.
Detectives received information stolen property was stored at Mulac’s residence on Peachtree Street in Smyrna. Smyrna Police, assisted by sheriff’s detectives, served a search warrant on the home.
“At that one house, we recovered stolen property from eight separate houses in Rutherford County and several houses in Wilson and Williamson County,” Weaver said.
About $75,000 worth of stolen property was recovered, including electronics, jewelry and weapons. About half of the stolen property was returned to the owners.
“Some of the property was pawned and recovered from pawn shops and gold and jewelry stores,” Weaver said. “We know some of the property was sold on the street and traded for weapons.”
Detectives interviewed people present during the search warrant.
“We got consistent statements a group of five individuals were involved in the rash of burglaries in the southwestern portion of Rutherford County,” Weaver said.
Detectives identified the suspects and gathered enough evidence to arrest the suspects within a few days.
Once obtaining the warrants, the sheriff’s fugitive squad coordinated by Deputy Randy Morrow nabbed the suspects Feb. 16.
The investigation is ongoing in Rutherford, Williamson and Wilson counties to determine if the suspects were linked to other burglaries. Detectives will discuss additional charges with the district attorney’s office.
Along with Weaver, sheriff’s Detectives Troy Hooker, Steve Brown, Richard Brinkley and Bryant Gregory and Smyrna Police worked together on the investigation.
“This case is a perfect example of multiple agencies working together and sharing information,” Weaver said.