published Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Man charged in vehicle break-ins had many previous arrests in Hamilton County

A man accused of breaking into vehicles in Middle Valley was on probation for a prior theft conviction and has been arrested more than 30 times in Hamilton County, records show.

Jimmie Dean Roy, 31, was taken into custody about 2 a.m. Wednesday as deputies conducted saturation patrols in the Coffelt, Moses and Gates roads areas after numerous residents had items taken. Roy was found with a stolen bicycle, authorities said.

He was arrested in the 7200 block of Moses Road and also was found with a GPS device, wire cutters, bolt cutters, a wooden box containing marijuana, a cellphone, a flashlight and another flashlight strapped to his head, according to an arrest report.

Roy faces charges of theft over $500, possession of burglary tools and possession of marijuana, and additional charges are expected as the investigation continues, said Hamilton County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Janice Atkinson.

As of Wednesday evening, Roy was still not booked into the Hamilton County Jail. His next court appearance is set for March 13 before Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Christine Sell.

Roy previously was convicted of theft in November 2010 and sentenced to two years of probation in lieu of being sent to prison. Because the state gives nonviolent offenders early release after about 160 days to save money and make room for violent offenders, Roy would have been released sooner than two years had he served any time.

He was held in jail for nearly a year while waiting to go to court on the theft charge. During sentencing, he told the court he planned to live outside Hamilton County.

"If he came back to Hamilton County, he was to report to the probation office. It was a condition of his plea, which he violated," said Hamilton County Assistant District Attorney Lance Pope, who prosecuted a few of Roy's cases.

Since the latest arrest, "our office has filed to violate his probation," Pope said.

Roy was living at 7411 Harper Road in Hixson, where investigators executed a search warrant after he was in custody, recovering a large amount of stolen items, said Atkinson, who described the home as a "warehouse" for stolen goods.

The inventory sheet detailing items removed from the residence was about 21/2 pages long, she said.

Roy told investigators, "he knew where the stolen items were, but he didn't take them," according to the arrest report.

Roy has a lengthy local arrest record, with 30 cases going before Criminal Court judges in Hamilton County, according to records. Of those charges, 13 were related to stealing.

Pope said several cases were dismissed due to a lack of evidence. In some cases, Roy was found with stolen goods, but there was no evidence linking him to the scene where items were taken, Pope said.

"Sometime later he was found to be in possession with items stolen in other burglaries. There was no forensic evidence to link to him to actual burglary," Pope said. "There's no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed any type of burglary."

In one case in which Roy was accused of stealing golf equipment, a witness told Pope he selected Roy in a photo lineup because he was wearing jail garb in the mugshot.

"It's not proof that we can submit to a jury to convict Mr. Roy," Pope said.

NEARBY ARREST

Prior to Jimmie Dean Roy's arrest on Wednesday on Moses Road, deputies arrested another resident who was frustrated with the spate of break-ins.

Michael A. Morrison, 36, had posted a sign near his mailbox reading "Steal = Die." Two vehicles -- their doors ajar -- were parked in the driveway of a residence, according to an arrest report.

When Hamilton County Sheriff's Office investigators pulled up at Morrison's home, he ran at the vehicle, the report said. As the investigator opened his car door, flashing his badge and saying, "sheriff's office," Morrison pushed the door shut. Morrison refused to follow commands, according to the report.

He was arrested on charges of with public intoxication and resisting arrest or obstruction.

Morrison told detectives he was angry about the break-ins and was trying to protect his property. He and his wife had an argument about him "leaving all of the doors on the vehicles open and trying to take the law into his own hands," according to the report.

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