High speed chase ends at Chapel Hill

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

SHELBYVILLE - A man suspected by police of scamming thousands of dollars from elderly Middle Tennessee residents was taken into custody after a high-speed chase Friday.

Allen Ray Harris, 33, walked out of woods near Chapel Hill to a waiting bail bondsman following a three-hour search by officers, Shelbyville Police Detective Sgt. Brian Crews said.

Harris has no fixed address and has been "floating from motel to motel across Middle Tennessee," Crews said. The chase resulted when detectives "lured" Harris to Bedford County.

"Last Thursday we received knowledge in reference to a guy going around Middle Tennessee taking advantage of the elderly claiming to do home repairs," Crews said. "We came across a lady in Shelbyville who had been scammed."

Detectives were unsuccessful in attempts to meet Harris within Shelbyville.

"We tried to lure him into Shelbyville but the closest we could get him was the Marathon market in Unionville," Crews said. "We planned to serve him with warrants from Rutherford and Wilson counties."

Harris sped off when he realized he was talking to police officers, heading north on U.S. 41A North at speeds of 85 to 100 mph.

"We tried to block him on Clardy Road where there's only one way out," Crews said. "He rammed Pat (Detective Lt. Pat Mathis) when he tried to block him and rammed Chucky (Detective Charles Merlo). We chased him to Highway 99 where he pulled over near Chapel Hill and fled on foot into a wooded area with heavy foliage."

Harris remained in the woods for three hours as sheriff's deputies from the Bedford, Rutherford, Marshall and Lincoln counties and Eagleville police scoured and surrounded the area. Bedford County's police dog was brought in to help search.

"Phone contact was made with him through a federal agent and he came out of the woods and surrendered to a bondsman," Crews said.

Harris has been charged with fraudulent use of a credit card and driving on a revoked license, police said.

Detectives said they knew of at least two individuals they say were victimized by Harris.

One woman was told bracing was needed under her home's metal roof, Crews said, and both victims lost an estimated $10,000-15,000 each. Harris did little if any actual work, according to detectives.

Shelbyville Police are asking people who've had contact with Harris to call them at 931-684-5811.