By MIKE WEST Courier Editor
A multi-county investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Kittrell man and the recovery of some $260,000 worth of stolen goods including three professional grade lawn-mowers from Cannon County.
Police turned to high-tech methods to capture Presley including GPS tracking and even turning to social media on Facebook.
Arrested was James Allen Presley, 36, of Bradyville Pike. He has been charged, thus far, with theft over $60,000, two counts of theft between $1,000 and $10,000, and violation of probation.
Presley is being charged in Cannon County with the theft of three mowers, a Club Cadet, a John Deere Zero Turn and a Grass Hopper Zero Turn. All were stolen in the Bradyville area.
Detectives teamed together to identify and locate a suspect accused of stealing about lawn mowers, tractors and skid loaders in several surrounding counties, a Rutherford County Sheriff's detective said.
Cannon Investigators Brandon Gullett, and Anthony Young and Sheriff Darrell Young assisted in the investigation and in the arrest of Presley.
"Upon interviewing him at the scene, James Allen Presley stated that he had taken three loads of items including lawn mowers and trailers to Illinois and sold them to a business by the name of J&L Whole-sale," Gullett reported.
Detectives recovered about $260,000 worth of stolen property from a location on Cranor Road in Rutherford County.
The three Cannon County mowers, stolen on Oct. 18 were recovered from J&L Wholesale, which is located in Centralia, Ill. They were returned to Cannon County on Oct. 28 and to their owners.
Witnesses gave a description of a suspect and his vehicle, Rutherford County Detective Steve Brown said. When confronted by investigators, the suspect gave false names and addresses.
"MTSU Police Detective Kim Rednour got on Facebook and started plugging in the names and identified the suspect as James Presley," Detective Brown said. "Photos were shown to witnesses and victims who positively identified Presley. She broke the case through social media."
Detectives worked with MTSU Police and Williamson, Cannon and Coffee County Sheriff's Offices before arresting Presley and recovering the stolen property.
"We've come up with other leads and this is still an active investigation," Detective Brown said.