Man With Prior Robberies Charged In Jewelry Burglary

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Darien Blake Clay
Darien Blake Clay

A 20-year-old on bond for aggravated robbery has been charged in a burglary case after the owner of the store said he recognized him from a video of the break-in.

Darien Blake Clay, 20, is charged with aggravated burglary, burglary, two counts of theft and two counts of vandalism.

The front door glass was busted out using a rock at the I-Specialize Store on Brainerd Road. A locked wooden door leading to the electronics was also broken through.

The thieves got away with over $10,000 in electronics.

Gary Ibarguen, owner, said when he watched the video he recognized Clay, though he was wearing a white hoodie with a covering over his face. He said Clay had been in the store before. The owner said he recognized him by his voice and by a tattoo.

He said he had Clay's phone number and he called him, saying he knew he had burglarized the business. He said he told Clay that if he returned all the items, he would not prosecute.

The owner said Clay agreed and he returned some of the items that afternoon. He said he would bring back the rest later. He said Clay later said he still would bring back some of the items and give him money for others than he could not get back. However, he said Clay did not bring any more items.

Police pulled a copy of Clay's jail photo from June 2012 and it showed a tattoo that appeared to be the same as that on the burglar in the video.

Clay was one of four youths charged with a robbery in Ooltewah in March 2012 in which two of the robbers were armed with handguns.

Sheriff deputies were called to 5409 Mulberry St. on a reported robbery.  When deputies arrived on the scene, victims Alan Benjamin, 19; Daniel Smith, 18, and Lucas Braden, 18, said they had been robbed. The victims told deputies they were sitting in a vehicle parked in front of 5409 Mulberry when they noticed a four-door white vehicle drive past.

The car proceeded to the dead end, then backed up before stopping at the rear of their vehicle. Five males exited the vehicle, approached and ordered the occupants to get out of their vehicle.   The victims said two of the robbers had black handguns.  The weapons were pointed at the victims, who were ordered to drop their pants and hand over their wallets and cell phones. 

The suspects also searched through the victims' car, taking a car stereo before leaving the scene.

The victims advised deputies they could identify four of the suspects - Jacob "Cody" Chase, 18; Johnny Myrick, 21; Darien Clay, 19, and  James Amaud Taylor, 20.  They were located at the residence of Cody Chase at 5204 Village Garden Dr.

All four were taken into custody and charged with especially aggravated robbery.  The weapons were located and described as two black pellet guns.  The fifth suspect has not been identified at this time.

Clay was also arrested in March of 2011 with another man after police said they broke into Tennessee Title Loans on Highway 58 to steal gas money. Police said Clay and Dejuan Davis hid outside the office until closing time. Officers said Clay approached employees with a gun and demanded money. Police said they took $150 and credit cards.

  

 



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, BRAD DEWAYNE  2821 3RD AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 37 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- ADKINS, KENDRA R  132 PARKS DRIVE FORT OGLETHORPE, 30742  Age at Arrest: 19 years old Arresting Agency: Red Bank ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain To Hold Public Meetings On Idea Of Setting Up Own School System

Discussion about follow-up public meetings regarding the Signal Mountain School System Viability Committee (SMSSVC) report dominated the council’s work session on Friday afternoon.    Mayor Chris Howley said that the town owes it to those in the middle to allow them to be engaged in the process. Vice Mayor Dick Gee said that the logical progression will be to ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Myth And Fact Check

My husband and I recently had the privilege of participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Chattanooga. I listened as my husband told the audience about how his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was nine and how she died from the disease when he was fourteen. As a child, my husband didn’t understand what breast cancer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s All About People

The leaders of Hamilton County’s Mental Health Court held a heart-warming open house Friday afternoon and it was announced that just since February, the creation has saved the county over $3 million in incarceration costs. But to hear County Mayor Jim Coppinger or Judge Don Poole tell it, that’s not what is important. “Soon after the court started, a kind, quiet man I’ll ... (click for more)

Mocs Mueller Nets Game Winner In 1-0 Soccer Win

Jordan Mueller picked up her own pass and pushed a shot into an empty net to give Chattanooga 1-0 Southern Conference women’s soccer win over Wofford on Senior Day at Finley Stadium on a cloudy Sunday afternoon.   “Pure grit by Jordan Mueller,” Chattanooga head coach Gavin McKinney said. “She is a gritty, tough, hardworking kid and it showed for the goal. She went and pressed ... (click for more)

Top-Ranked Alabama Smashes Tennessee 45-7

(This story has been updated) Tennessee, a 34-point underdog in one of college football’s better long-running series, stayed close for one quarter before top-ranked Alabama switched to another gear and pummeled the struggling Vols, 45-7, Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The rock-ribbed Crimson Tide defense locked down Tennessee’s ground game, hounded quarterback ... (click for more)