Man Charged In Theft Of Vehicles Stolen From Gentry Chevrolet Facing Federal Charges

Sunday, March 2, 2014
Christopher Lynn Coffelt
Christopher Lynn Coffelt

A 34-year-old Chattanooga man charged in connection with the theft of six vehicles from Gentry Chevrolet at Kimball, Tn., is now facing federal charges.

Christopher Lynn Coffelt was arrested as a felon in possession of a firearm.

In the theft that was discovered on Jan. 2, three 2014 Chevrolet Camaros, two new trucks and a used Toyota were stolen.

The same day, the Kimball Police Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol Criminal Investigations Division used OnStar to provide geographic locations for the stolen vehicles. A stolen 2014 Silver Chevrolet Silverado truck was located abandoned at the Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Tn.

Upon recovering the vehicle, Jasper Police Officer Scott Evans completed an inventory of the contents of the vehicle and discovered mail and receipts with Coffelt's name on them, an affidavit says. One of the receipts showed that on Jan. 1 at 8:42 p.m., a balance inquiry on Coffelt's bank account was made at the Tennessee Valley Credit Union on Commons Boulevard in Chattanooga.

In the console next to the mail and receipts, Officer Evans also located a Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol, ammunition, a black holster, and an extra magazine for the pistol.

 On Jan. 2, utilizing OnStar, the stolen 2014 White Chevrolet Camaro sports car was located near Hamilton Place Mall by officers with the Chattanooga Police Department. When officers located the vehicle, Coffelt fled from it on foot but was apprehended a few minutes later and taken into custody.

Agents said Coffelt was in possession of an Apple i-Phone when he was arrested.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Sergeant Matt Minter completed an inventory of the items in the vehicle and located Coffelt's Tennessee Valley Credit Union debit card.

On Jan. 14, ATF agent Chad Johnson served a federal grand jury subpoena on the Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union branch on Commons Boulevard in Chattanooga. The subpoena requested surveillance footage from the outside ATM machine for a transaction that was made from Coffelt's account on Jan. 1 at 8:42 p.m. The subpoena return contained 13 black and white photos that show a large Chevrolet truck being driven up to the ATM at the time of the transaction. Due to the height of the truck, there was no clear view of the driver of the vehicle. Agents said the truck in the photos appears similar to the stolen Chevrolet truck that the ATM receipt for this transaction was recovered in when the truck was recovered in Jasper, Tn.

This is the same vehicle where the firearm and ammunition was located.

On Feb. 2, pursuant to a state search warrant, agent Johnson reviewed data that had been retrieved from the Apple !-Phone in Coffelt's possession. He found the phone had been used to take two photos of the same firearm that was retrieved from the 2014 Silver Chevrolet Silverado truck.

It also showed that on Jan. 1, the phone was also used to text a picture of the firearm to another individual.

Agents said Coffelt has three felony convictions for theft and drug trafficking.

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