By Michael Williams
An alert maintenance man has been credited with helping authorities to nab a cabin burglar suspected in a string of robberies.
The incident occurred at approximately 2 p.m. Wednesday when the maintenance man, whose name has not been released, observed a white male, later identified as Arnold Wayne Coleman, as he climbed out the window of a cabin located at 1241 Secona Way. The witness saw the suspect as he got into a silver minivan with two other suspects who were waiting in the minivan. The vehicle quickly fled the scene.
Sevier County Sheriff Ron Seals stated that deputies were dispatched to the scene and after a brief investigation determined the cabin had been burglarized. Officers combed the area and realized three other cabins had been burglarized as well.
A search of the area was conducted and the van was not found at that time. Later that evening at approximately 6 p.m. a patrolling deputy spotted a silver Mazda minivan backed into a driveway of another cabin on Oldham’s Creek Road. Two suspects immediately fled the scene and deputies were able to apprehend Coleman who was taken into custody. Officers found several items in the woods near the van that came from other burglaries in the area that day.
Coleman, age 39 of Mountain View Court, was transported to the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office for questioning and later booked into Sevier County Jail on four counts of aggravated burglary. He was arraigned before a magistrate and a $35,000.00 bond was set. Coleman has a preliminary hearing date on August 25, 2014 in General Sessions Court. The investigation and search for the other subjects that fled the scene is ongoing.