Suspect in multi-county burglary spree arrested - WSMV Channel 4

Suspect in multi-county burglary spree arrested

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Keith Churchill (Photo from Rutherford Co. Sheriff's Office) Keith Churchill (Photo from Rutherford Co. Sheriff's Office)
MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -

One woman said she thought her husband was scoring big at storage auctions, but detectives said Keith Churchill, 31, of Pecan Ridge Drive in Murfreesboro, was really up to no good.

He's accused of stealing more than $25,000 worth of weapons, jewelry, and even antiques from homes throughout Middle Tennessee.

Churchill's wife didn't want to be identified because of the shame said her husband has brought to the family.

"I'm upset, and I'm hurt," the wife said. "It's hard to take in a lot right now."

She said he is a fan of the cable TV show Storage Wars, so she didn't think twice when he started bringing items homes.

"I knew when people didn't pay for their units that they would go up for auction so it wasn't unbelievable that's what was going on," she said.

Rutherford County sheriff's detectives said Churchill didn't buy the items at a storage auction. He is believed to have stolen the property from 25 to 30 homes in Wilson, Rutherford, and possibly Williamson County.

He wasn't too picky about what he took. Detectives also recovered a sword, guitar, silver, and even some foreign cash.

Churchill has been tied to at least 13 burglaries in Rutherford County alone.

"He used surgical gloves when he broke into a house," said Jim Tramel, Rutherford County Sheriff's Department detective. "It seems like his method of entry would be to knock on the back door, (and then) knock on the front door. If no one answered he would break a window and make entry."

His crime spree came to an end last Friday when he broke into a house in Wilson County. Surveillance video of the break-in helped police identify him. Later that day he was spotted and lead deputies on a high-speed chase.

"At the intersection of Weakley (Lane) and Couchville Pike he made contact with another vehicle, and continued approximately an eighth of a mile before his vehicle disabled, and he was taken into custody," said Kenneth Barrett, Rutherford County Sheriff's Department lieutenant.

Churchill's wife said not only has he taken away that sense of safety and security from the people he stole from, she said he's torn apart his own family.

"When they came to the house the day he was arrested I was devastated, I was in tears because I just could not believe this is what he had done to our family, and put me in the middle of this."

Churchill remains in the Rutherford County Jail charged with two counts of felony theft, felony evading, resisting arrest, and an unrelated domestic aggravated assault charge. He could face even more charges.

Detectives have already returned some of the stolen items to its rightful owners, and are hoping to return the remaining items to folks who may have had their homes broken into by Churchill.

Please keep in mind you must be able to prove the items are yours.

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