KPD e-News Release: Kingsport Police Request Citizens Come Forward in Ongoing Criminal Investigation

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

ThomasMPatton • 423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

SUBJECT: Kingsport Police Request Citizens Come Forward in Ongoing Criminal Investigation
DATE: May 15, 2014
The Kingsport Police Department has identified an individual who has engaged in multiple acts of stalking of women in the City of Kingsport and Sullivan County. The discovery of this individual was a result of a multi-jurisdictional investigation involving the Kingsport Police Department, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, and the Office of the Sullivan County District Attorney General.

This investigation began after a review of the Kingsport Police Department’s records revealed a series of incidents involving the suspect going door to door soliciting handyman work. This records search was made possible as a direct result of new incident reporting software technology. Complaints filed by citizens have spanned over a period of several years and have included allegations of burglary, theft, phone harassment, assault, and stalking.

It is believed that the suspect drives around neighborhoods looking for unsuspecting female victims who are visibly working in their yards, walking, shopping, etc. He often uses the ruse of offering handyman work as a means to make initial contact with his victims. There is some indication that this man reviews the obituaries posted in local newspapers or online, then specifically targets widows identified as the next-of-kin of the deceased.

In an attempt to identify additional victims, the investigating law enforcement agencies are seeking the assistance of the citizens of the City of Kingsport and Sullivan County. Anyone who has been a victim or knows someone who has been a victim of this type of activity is asked to please contact Sgt. Steve Hammonds of the Kingsport Police Department (423-224-2411), Det. Terry Christian of the Kingsport Police Department (423-229-9474), or Det. Lt. Bobby Russell of the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office (423-279-7500) as soon as possible. Anyone who comes forward can rest assured that they can remain anonymous.

To preserve the integrity of the investigation, the investigators have made the conscious decision to hold back specific details about this case, such as the identity of the suspect and the name of his fictitious handyman business, to protect the integrity of future prosecutable cases that might develop as a result of this press release.

The Kingsport Police Department wishes to caution area residents to be aware that criminal behavior such as this does take place within our community. Area law enforcement officials are continually improving our investigative capabilities in an ongoing effort to bring these offenders to justice and improve the overall safety of our community.

Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit