Associate Of Man Charged In Fire That Burned 2 Officers Is Taken Into Custody

Tuesday, October 27, 2020
John Edward Stokes
John Edward Stokes

A suspect in a burglary that led to Robert Allen Vandergriff’s arson in which two officers suffered burns has now been arrested.                         

A Hixson Pike resident reported a burglary to his storage unit in August. He told police that the previous day, the door to his storage unit was damaged, but not destroyed to the point where items could be stolen.

Police said security footage of the next day showed suspects returning to the unit and causing what was called “extensive damage” to several units. Police said once they entered the units, suspects damaged the Honda Del Sol inside, but were unable to take it.

However, police said suspects were able to steal a 1966 Mustang and 1976 El Camino also inside the storage unit. Later that day, a witness told police they observed the suspects utilizing the El Camino to commit another burglary on Ely Road.

The witness told police they saw Robert Vandergriff, Christopher Davis, and John Edward Stokes, 49, unloading items from that burglary, and from other storage units around where the El Camino was stored. Police said Vandergriff ran from police when confronted, and set fire to a residence he had barricaded himself into.

Last Thursday, an officer responded to a call on Cuscomilla Trail. A witness called and said John Stokes was at the residence and had several warrants. Upon arrival, police said they told Stokes they were about to enter the house after being let in by other residents.

Police said they found Stokes and another woman “hidden” in a room in the front of the house. Police said the woman with him was loud and attempted to draw attention away from Stokes. However, Stokes was taken into custody and transported to the county jail.

Stokes is charged with two counts of theft of property over $10,000, three burglary counts, three vandalism counts, theft of property over $1,000, aggravated burglary, and vandalism.


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