Investigators believe multiple reports of vandalism linked to crime spree


A day after church vans were vandalized in Jonesborough local authorities in multiple counties now believe this could be part of a much bigger crime spree.

Kenny Davis of Erwin said he woke up Saturday morning to find his neighbor changing his tire.

“I helped him change it and just a little while later I noticed we had a flat which was not kosher, it was at the same time,” Davis said. “That’s when we found out and that paint on the side of the car.”

Davis and his neighbor’s cars were both vandalized on Tipton Street. Davis said his car was painted with Swastika signs and one of the tires were slashed, costing him more than $4,000 in damage.

“I don’t know what to think about it to be honest,” Davis said. “To think that somebody would do that.”

They were paintings similar to multiple vandalism reports out of Erwin and Washington County, including Enon Baptist Church where all three of the churches’ vans were vandalized.

Sgt. John Light of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said there have been four reports of vehicles being vandalized in Washington County, including the church’s vans.

“All three had the tires slashed, windows broken, one of the vans had an upside down crosses painted on it and a lot of paintball appeared to be used to shoot one of the vans,” Light said.

Church members said in the meantime, many local churches have offered to loan them vans until they decide what they are going to do.

Each of these incidents in Washington County and Unicoi occurred just 20 minutes apart, something Investigative Sgt. Jacob Marshall of the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Office said he doesn’t believe to be a coincidence.

“We do believe they are connected there is no doubt in my mind that they are connected,” Marshall said.

In Erwin, Davis said with so many other people filing reports of similar vandalism, he is hoping someone will come out and say something.

“I just hope they catch them and I will prosecute if they do catch them,” Davis said.

Investigators said whoever is responsible will face felony vandalism charges.

If you have any information about any of these cases of vandalism you are asked to call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 423-788-1414, Unicoi County Sheriff’s Office at 423-743-1850 or Erwin Police Department at 423-743-1870.

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