10 Facing Charges In Rash Of Lookout Mountain Burglaries; Lookout May Install Surveillance Cameras At Entry Points

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ten people are now awaiting court appearances - four in Walker County, Ga., and the rest in Hamilton County, Tn. - in connection with a rash of burglaries on Lookout Mountain.

Most have made bond. Though they are back out, Lookout Mountain, Ga., Police Chief Todd Gann said the multiple arrests put a big dent in the recurring break-ins that had mountain residents on edge for several weeks.

The four who will be going to court at LaFayette, Ga., were caught at a house on Wood Nymph Trail on Lookout Mountain, Ga., on Aug. 28. They were also charged with a break-in on Hardy Road.

The four were all from Chattanooga. They are Jamichael Jerome Norman, 20; Kiaomee Deshawn Owens, 17; Gabriel Lamar Vaughn, 20, and Eldrin Demetris Vinson, 19. Norman made bond early, while the others were still in jail. Owens would have done better to have been caught on the Tennessee side. A 17-year-old is considered a juvenile in Tennessee, but is treated as an adult in Georgia.

Vinson is the only one with prior arrests in Hamilton County - for domestic assault and twice for criminal trespass.

The Hamilton County defendants were arrested following a raid at a house at 2712 Long St., where authorities found a stache of items police said were taken from burglaries on Lookout Mountain and elsewhere.

Lookout Mountain Detective David McGuffee said he interviewed multiple suspects. He said, "These individuals admitted to police that they had personally taken stolen property to the residence and traded it for illegal drugs."

In the search on Sept. 11, police saw "multiple items in plain view that was specifically described as being some of the items taken from the burglaries on Lookout Mountain."

One of the items was a brown duffle bag that was in one of the back bedrooms of a Lookout residence. The bag belongs to Richard Smith, whose home on Fleetwood Drive was among those hit.

Charged with theft of property were residents of the 2712 Long St. house: Cordell Odum, 24; William Z. Odum, 23; Alex Odum, 19;  Jamar Torome Jones, 33; Valenica Jones, 52, and Artyce McConnell, 23.

Jamar Jones has a lengthy record, including animal cruelty as well as a rape that was dismissed.

All six of the Hamilton County defendants have made bond. Cordell Odum, who was arrested first, got a $2,500 bond. The bond for the others was set at $5,000 each.

The court date for Cordell Odum is next Tuesday. For the others it is Oct. 14.

All are to appear before General Sessions Court Judge Christie Sell. 

Police confiscated over 100 stolen items and some of the Lookout Mountain victims identified and have claimed their property at the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department Annex. It is believed some of the stolen items may have come from Signal Mountain, but police are unsure where most of the seized items originated. Among items stolen were flat screen TVs, laptop computers, watches, jewelry, guns and money. 

Officers found a sizable amount of illegal drugs during the raid and additional charges may result both on the federal and state level, sources said.

A joint effort by officials from both Lookout Mountain towns is pursuing a solution that will place surveillance cameras at five entrance points to the combined Lookout Mountain community. Cameras are expected to be installed at locations on Scenic Highway, Ochs Highway, the Ochs Extension and McFarland Road.

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