published Friday, February 24th, 2012

18 new charges filed in Chattanooga theft case

Close to a dozen car batteries sit in an evidence room at the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, a day after deputies arrested a man they believe is responsible for as many as eight car break-ins.

The batteries were used to power camping lanterns inside Jimmie Dean Roy’s home in Hixson, authorities said.

“It was a crime of opportunity,” Hamilton County Sheriff’s Capt. Bill Johnson said Thursday. “They were things he could take quickly.”

Roy, who now faces 19 charges of theft, is accused of stealing numerous tool sets, laptops, GPS systems, drills, circular saws and a bright-blue Bell 18-speed bicycle that deputies said he used as a getaway vehicle.

Among the more unusual items stolen were a Bible and a red Army infantry flag belonging to a veteran, authorities said. The items recovered are worth about $16,000, deputies said.

Roy, 31, who has a lengthy arrest record of theft and burglary charges, had new charges filed against him Thursday — eight counts of burglary of an auto, seven counts of theft under $500, one count of theft over $500, one count of theft over $1,000 and one count of theft over $10,000.

He initially was arrested on charges of theft over $500, possession of burglary tools and possession of marijuana.

On Thursday, Roy, who was on probation from a prior theft case, remained at the Hamilton County Jail with a bond set at $290,000. His next court date is set for Monday before General Sessions Judge Christine Sell.

The sheriff’s office already has received calls from owners wishing to claim items, Johnson said. Owners must prove the items are theirs. Unclaimed items will either be destroyed or auctioned, he said.

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