JCPD: Two charged for connection to two separate vehicle thefts

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – Johnson City Police Department officers arrested two people in connection to two separate motor vehicle thefts.

According to a JCPD news release, on Nov. 12, a 2003 Ford Explorer was reported stolen in the Boones Creek area of Johnson City, and was spotted over the last couple of weeks but the occupants were able to avoid police.

The vehicle and license plate were reportedly altered to conceal it was stolen.

Laura Watts was developed as a suspect and on Wednesday she was arrested in an unrelated investigation.

Watts was interviewed by police, where she admitted that she’d driven the stolen Explorer and said she evaded law enforcement in that vehicle.

According to the release, Watts said she didn’t know where the car was at the time and said she didn’t know who had it.

Early Thursday morning, patrol officers saw the SUV near Wichita Street.

When officers tried to stop the vehicle, the driver — Savannah Willen — ran from the scene, but was quickly arrested by officers.

A male passenger also ran from the vehicle.

The stolen vehicle was recovered and Watts and Willen were arrested and taken to the Washington County Detention Center.

Watts was charged with evading arrest, driving on a revoked license, failure to maintain financial responsibility, reckless driving and possession of stolen property over $1,000.

Willen was charged with simple possession, evading arrest, no/expired driver license, reckless endangerment and receiving/possessing stolen property.

According to the release, Watts was developed as a suspect in another motor vehicle theft from Nov. 19.

The victim reported to police that her 2007 Saturn Ion was taken without her permission.

Watts faces an additional charge of motor vehicle theft over $1,000 in relation to that case.

Watts and Willen were scheduled for arraignment in Sessions Court on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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