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Two men caught during Laurel Bloomery burglary

Johnson County Sheriff Eddie Tester pats down one of the two men involved in a burglary in Laurel Bloomery. Both perpetrators were caught at the scene and the stolen property was returned to the owner. Photo by Meg Dickens

By Meg Dickens
Staff Writer

Between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 9, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) apprehended two men at 6967 Highway 91 North in Laurel Bloomery, Tennessee while investigating a breaking and entering. Joseph E. Phipps of Johnson County and Joseph E. Davis of Damascus, VA were caught before leaving the scene. Officers thoroughly searched both suspects, and their vehicle, documenting a variety of items taken from the home.

According to property owner William Tugman, his brother contacted JCSO after seeing suspicious figures loading items into a black pick-up truck on Tugman’s property. The perpetrators attempted to take antiques and scrap materials, including wire from his property, he explained. He also mentioned that additional goods were found that may belong to another victim. The JCSO confirmed that there were additional goods, but did not comment on their origins.

“The items stolen from the property have been returned to the owner, other items were discovered during the investigation, were documented, and information was shared with area Law Enforcement,” Sheriff Eddie Tester explained.

According to Tester, who was on the scene, Phipps and Davis were arrested on a variety of charges that evening. Both were charged with burglary and possession of drug paraphernalia. Davis was additionally charged with public intoxication and possession of a firearm while under the influence.

Phipps was released after entering a misdemeanor plea in court for 11/29 (11 months and 29 days) probation. Davis was released on bond from the Johnson County Jail. To find out more about the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, visit find it on Facebook.

A fleet of police cruisers and Sheriff Tester’s unmarked police truck show up to investigate reported suspicious activity that turned out to be a burglary. Photo by Meg Dickens.