UPDATE: Car burglaries solved; Police

Friday, January 1, 2010

Suspects have been arrested and charged with eight car burglaries in Lewisburg, according to city police who say the culprits are accused of similar crimes elsewhere in Tennessee and Alabama.

Justin W. Clutts, 19, of Hazel Green, Ala., and James E. Bragg, 35, of Flintville, Lincoln County, "were taken into custody while committing several vehicle burglaries in Chattanooga" on Dec. 15, Police Detective Sgt. David Henley said in a New Year's Eve announcement.

Henley and Detective James Johnson interviewed Clutts in Chattanooga and Bragg in Athens, Ala.

"Both subjects admitted involvement in the vehicle burglaries ... in ... Lewisburg and to the use of stolen credit cards at the Lewisburg Wal-Mart," Henley said. "Charges in Lewisburg against Clutts and Bragg are currently pending."

As of Wednesday, Clutts remained in custody at Chattanooga awaiting transfer to Scottsboro, Ala., Henley said. James Bragg had been transferred from Chattanooga to Limestone County, Ala.

Both face charges in other jurisdictions, the detective sergeant said. During investigations after the two arrests, information was obtained that led police to believe their suspects may have been responsible for other vehicle burglaries in Tennessee and Alabama.

The investigation is continuing and "additional arrests are probable," Henley said, appealing to the public for information relating to these cases or other criminal activity. To do so, call the Lewisburg Police Department Criminal Investigation Division at (931) 359-3800 or Crime Stoppers at (931) 359-4867.

Vehicle burglaries reported on Dec. 9 in Lewisburg were in the parking lots of: London's Funeral Home, 324 West Church St.; Mexico Lindo Restaurant, 1063 Nashville Highway; East Commerce Baptist Church, 560 East Commerce St.; Parkview Baptist Church, 1380 South Ellington Parkway; and the First Baptist Church parking area on Water Street.

Victims reported missing items had been left unattended inside their vehicles in plain view. Several items were stolen from the vehicles including purses, wallets, and cellular phones. Information regarding the recovery of these items is being withheld until completion of the investigation.