Area law enforcement agencies believe they have caught the person responsible for a string of convenience store burglaries.
Deshawn Mitchell Rudd, 21, Knoxville, is suspected to have been involved in about 40 burglaries in Tennessee between June and late December. Three burglaries occurred locally — one in Loudon in August and the other two in rural locations in September and November.
Other burglaries were spread from Washington County to Putnam County to Bradley County.
“It was pretty obvious that he wasn’t going to stop until he got caught,” Brian Jenkins, Loudon police investigator, said. “... I think it probably gives the merchants in these convenience stores, especially the clerks that work there, a little bit of peace of mind that finally he’s in custody. It was such a repetitive thing that it was getting kind of ridiculous.”
The arrest was made after a joint investigation involving Loudon Police Department, Loudon County Sheriff’s Office, Knox County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies in East and Middle Tennessee.
“A lot of law enforcement agencies in East Tennessee, we’re always sharing information back and forth and we’ve got an email list, so to speak, and if somebody’s had a particular incident happen we’ll put it out on this email list and lo and behold it started happening at some of these places and we figured out it was the same suspect,” Jenkins said. “So we got together and we started comparing notes and kind of formed a plan to try to find the guy.
“... After ours happened we ended up hearing from Roane County and figured out the same individual had been involved in an attempted one over there and they weren’t successful in that particular incident,” he added. “Then we just kind of started looking around at different people’s Facebook pages and this internet list I’m talking about.”
Law enforcement realized an individual kept popping up with the same mask and vehicle, Jenkins said.
“Knox County, I think they had some information and not 100 percent sure, but they got information and ... put pieces of the puzzle together to get him apprehended,” Chris Bowen, LCSO investigator, said.
A representative from KCSO could not be reached for comment despite multiple attempts.
Inmate intake on KCSO’s website shows Rudd was first booked Dec. 22. He has holds from Loudon, Bradley, Grainger, Jefferson and Anderson counties and Oliver Springs that include charges for burglary, theft of property, vandalism, conspiracy and driving while a license is suspended.
“There’s several jurisdictions that are going to be charging him, so he’s probably going to be bouncing around to different counties in Tennessee for quite some time,” Jenkins said. “Knox County caught him so they get their bite at him first, then we’ve got a hold on him, I think Roane County probably, I know Bradley County has a hold on him. Goodness, who knows how many counties between here and there.”
Jenkins said there could be more than 40 incidents.
“A guy like this, he’s got to be stopped and the only way to stop him is to have him locked up,” Tim Guider, Loudon County sheriff, said.