Suspicious Fire Destroys Boat, Truck

Cannon County Sheriff's Deputy Chip Avera was dispatched to 507 Odell Powell Road, Woodbury, at 9:20 p.m. on Oct. 1 in response to a report of a vehicle and boat fire.

Upon arrival he spoke with Glyn and Joan Prater, who reside at 452 Odell Powell Rd. Glyn Prater told Deputy Avera that he and his wife heard a loud explosion and immediately looked out and saw a vehicle and boat on fire at the residence of Clint Higgins.

Prater said he then called 911 and went to Higgins' house and saw he was not at home so he called him to tell him what had happened.

Prater said that as soon as he saw the vehicle and boat they were both fully engulfed in fire except for the very front end of the vehicle. Prater also stated he did not observe anyone at the Higgin's residence or anything suspicious in the neighborhood.

Higgins arrived on the seen approximately 15 minutes after Deputy Avera. He advised he and his family, along with a friend, Jason Roberts, had been eating at a restaurant in Manchester when he received the call from Prater and they left immediately upon hearing the news.

Higgins stated he had last been home around 6:45 p.m. when they went to pick up Roberts to go eat supper, at about 7:15.

Higgins is the owner of the boat, valued at $62,459. He told Deputy Avera he usually leaves the boat in the garage but that he and Roberts were cleaning out the garage that day to prepare for a cookout they were having the next day for Higgin's birthday. To make more space they moved the boat out to the side of the driveway, Higgins said.

Both Higgins and Roberts stated they used Roberts' vehicle to move the boat because Higgins' wife was using the vehicle used to tow the boat. They stated they never unhooked the boat from Roberts' truck because it was low on gas and Higgins gave Roberts a ride home.

After the fire was put out, Detective James Davis arrived and investigated the scene and found possible evidence of an arson due to a very strong odor of gasoline which indicates an accelerant and the rear driver's window had been busted out.

Higgins check the remainder of his property and advised Deputy Avera nothing else appeared to be bothered and that all of his doors and the garage were still locked.

Damage to Roberts' truck was estimated at $13,000. Detective Davis is investigating the incident.

• In another recent incident, Deputy Randy Neal was dispatched to Auburntown just before Cooper Hollow Road on Sept. 30 in reference to a report of property destruction/damage and vandalism. He spoke with Phillip Boss, 12032 Lascassas Pike, Milton, who stated he comes to this place to walk about three times a week and he brings his dogs because it is a dead end road.

Boss told Deputy Neal that on this date he parked his car on the side of the road like always and walked his dogs. He said when he returned he saw a young man about 30 at his car. Boss said the man had a floor jack under his car and had knocked a hole in the gas tank and was stealing the gas out of the car.

Boss said he asked the man what he was doing and the man stated it was his mother's car and he was working on it. Boss said he told the man it was his car and the man got his stuff together and left.

Boss got the tag number from the black S10 truck. The tag returned to James Wolfe of 311 Monroe St., Murfreesboro. Deputy Neal and Boss took out warrants against Wolfe, one for Theft Under $500 and one for Vandalism.

• Larry Nees, 20 East Circle Drive, Liberty, reported a burglary at his home on Sept. 29. Missing items included a .22 caliber rifle, $1,500 in cash and four Miami Dolphins jerseys.

• Franklin Daniel reported a burglary/breaking and entering at a Vanhooser Road residence on Oct. 4. MIssing items included a TV and two weedeaters. Deputy Randy Neal investigated.