Property Offender Nabbed Due to Work of Forensics Officer

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Property Offender Nabbed Due to Work of Forensics Officer

Posted: 02/17/2014
February 17, 2014 - Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Police Chief David Rausch today named Forensics Officer Eddie Johnson the December Officer of the Month for the Knoxville Police Department. Officer Johnson has been with KPD since January 1991.

Chief Rausch said that on December 3, 2013, Officer Johnson was dispatched to the Knox County Health Department to process the scene for evidence in a burglary. A county owned 1998 Jeep Cherokee with Knox County Government logos on the doors was stolen along with items from the building. Officer Johnson believed the vehicle was probably taken to haul the stolen property after which it may be abandoned. Officer Johnson went looking for the vehicle and found it parked in front of 2222 Virginia Avenue. The doors had been painted over, but you could still see the government logos underneath the poor paint job. Officer Johnson called for assistance to help check the residence for potential witnesses or suspects.

Chief Rausch said, "As the officers approached the residence they apprehended the suspect attempting to leave from the rear of the residence. The suspect immediately denied any knowledge of the stolen vehicle."

As Officer Johnson was processing the vehicle for evidence, he located a receipt for paint recently purchased at Wal-Mart. Officer Johnson went to the Wal-Mart and reviewed security camera footage that showed the suspect driving the Jeep and purchasing the paint that had been used to spray on the doors. A latent print was also recovered from the vehicle that matched the suspect that was apprehended at the Virginia Avenue residence.

Chief Rausch said, "Officer Johnson used all of his knowledge and instincts in handling the burglary call. He did not stop at the forensic processing of the crime scene, but went above and beyond the call to search the area resulting in the recovery of stolen property and the apprehension of the suspect."

Tracy Austin
DOB: 6-14-69
Virginia Avenue address
Charges: Burglary and Theft

Click here to view a listing of previous KPD award winners.