Burglary suspect remains on loose after Benton Co. chase

BENTON COUNTY, Tenn. — Decatur County and Benton County deputies had a busy Tuesday morning as they searched for a burglary suspect on the run.

Officials say it started as a pursuit around 6 a.m. Tuesday after a house was burglarized in Decatur County.

That pursuit ended in the Sugar Tree area on Shake Rag Road in Benton County.

“He came over into a rural, and it broke off and he went down by a game reserve where he crashed his car out,” Benton County Sheriff Kenny Christopher said.

A Bobcat utility vehicle was brought in to get the damaged car out of the muddy woods.

Driving that car was 51-year-old William “Wild Bill” Gray of Benton County, according to the sheriff. Deputies say he took off running.

“We had tracking dogs out looking for him some time, and they finally lost track and the helicopter wasn’t able to do any good this morning,” Sheriff Christopher said.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News cameras were rolling as deputies searched the area with extreme caution not knowing whether Gray was armed.

Sheriff Christopher says there was someone else in the car who got out before it crashed. That person is in custody and is cooperating in the investigation.

“I don’t know if he was with him when the burglary occurred or not,” Sheriff Christopher said.

Gray is described as a “frequent flyer” by law enforcement.

“Most of the time it’s for theft, sometimes for drugs,” Sheriff Christopher said. “He’s just someone who has been in and out over the past few years.”

Multiple agencies helped in the search including the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

“They sent four THP units, and as soon as I contacted THP air and as soon as I called, they responded and had someone up here in about 20 minutes,” Sheriff Christopher said.

Authorities are calling off their search while “Wild Bill” remains on the loose.

Sheriff Christopher says he shouldn’t be considered a threat.

Anyone with information on Gray’s whereabouts is urged to call local authorities or the Benton County Sheriff’s Department at 731-279-4280.