3 suspects arrested in auto burglary spree spanning several counties in northeast Tennessee

(Images follow text from left to right) Earlier this week, deputies arrested 20-year-old Wayne McCauley of Unicoi, 34-year-old William Davis of Unicoi, and 22-year-old Kenneth Moore of Marshall, NC. (Source: Washington County Sheriff's Office)

WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Deputies in Washington County, TN say two men from Unicoi County and a man from North Carolina have been arrested in a multi-county auto burglary investigation.

According to Sheriff Ed Graybeal, deputies have been working a series of auto burglaries over the past several months where the vast majority of cars were left unlocked. Multiple guns, purses wallets, cash and other valuable articles were the among the items stolen.

Investigators say a group of men have been working together and went into several neighborhoods during the early morning hours.

Earlier this week, local deputies arrested 20-year-old Wayne McCauley of Unicoi, 34-year-old William Davis of Unicoi, and 22-year-old Kenneth Moore of Marshall, NC.

McCauley was arrested on Monday after he was found with stolen property on Sam Jenkins Road in Washington County, TN. He faces 10 counts of auto burglary, three counts of possession of the stolen property, one count of facilitating auto burglary and simple possession. He is being held at the Washington County Detention Center on $111,000 bond.

Davis was arrested following a similar investigation in Unicoi County. He faces 36 counts of auto burglary in Washington County including one count of aggravated burglary. Davis will be transported to Washington County once he is released from custody in Unicoi County. It’s expected his bond will be $370,000.

And Moore was arrested in North Carolina on failure to appear warrants in Unicoi County. Investigators said they believed that he was the ringleader in the group. Moore is awaiting extradition back to Tennessee where his charges are pending.

The men targeted neighborhoods along Walkers Bend Road, Elmer Walker Road, JA Ramsey Road, Sunset Ridge, Douglas Chapel Road and Keeland Subdivision.

The sheriff’s office says that some of the times have been recovered, but it says their “scheme was so elaborate” that it is likely the men traded or got rid of the property.

The investigation is ongoing, said Sheriff Graybeal, and he says more charges are pending.

The case involves several local agencies including the Washington County (TN) Sheriff’s Office, the Johnson City Police Department, the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Office, the Erwin Police Department and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.

If you have any information that can help deputies, call the sheriff’s office at 423-788-1414.

Sheriff Graybeal said he wants to encourage anyone who notices any suspicious activity to report it to local police.

News Channel 11 is following this story, we’ll have a full story beginning on the news at 5:00 p.m.

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