Bloodhound helps solve robbery case

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A bloodhound was called to help find one of two men who fled from law enforcement officers after reportedly being caught stealing TVs from Wal-Mart in the pre-dawn hours Saturday.

Torrian D. Tatum, 20, of Murfreesboro, and Deandre M. Arrington, 18, of Nashville, were still in Marshall County jail Monday afternoon, awaiting a court appearance.

Lewisburg Police Office Tracy Teal described what happened when he and Cpl. Chris Sawyers were called to Wal-Mart because of a "suspicious vehicle."

The officers found a maroon Pontiac Grand Prix with a Michigan license plate backed in next to an emergency exit between the Oil Change Center and the Garden Center, with the keys in the ignition and the driver's window down.

Since the officers knew there had been a previous theft of TVs by men who escaped through an emergency exit, they decided to watch and wait.

Within a few minutes, two men left Wal-Mart through the emergency exit, "each carrying what appeared to be a large-screen TV," Teal wrote in his report. "After ignoring our commands to stop and get on the ground, the two dropped the TVs and ran back into the store."

Sawyers chased one man on foot, while Teal drove around the building and saw the second man come out the front door. This suspect was chased for a short distance across the parking lot before he surrendered.

The other suspect was seen jumping the guardrail and running toward the railroad tracks, according to Teal's report. The officers called for backup -- including the Park Rangers "with a request for canine assistance" -- and deputies from the Marshall County Sheriff's Department, other LPD officers and Detective James Johnson joined in the search.

"A short time later, I located the second subject hiding ... at the rear of Lawler's Barbecue ... where he was taken into custody," Teal reported.

The TVs the men were carrying when police saw them leaving the store were both Samsung 40-inch LCDHD models, priced at $668 each.

According to reports on file at the Lewisburg Police Department, Wal-Mart has suffered the theft of a number of TVs and Xbox games since late May. A report by Cpl. Billy Duckworth lists the stolen TVs as: seven Vizio 19-inch, one Vizio 22-inch, two Vizio 26-inch; and one Samsung 32-inch. The men are also alleged to have taken at least four Xbox games. "They would load a cart up with the items and exit out the fire escape door at the rear of Wal-Mart," Duckworth wrote.