Donald Priddy

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Couple Accused Of Theft Facing Additional Charges

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

HENDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. - Officials in Henderson County said they now have two serial theft suspects behind bars thanks to residents coming forward with information.

Lexington police arrested Donald Priddy, 48, and Sarah Kelly-Justus, 36, for unlawful possession of a weapon as a felon.

Captain Jeff Middleton with Lexington Police told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that the pair were suspected of being connected to a string of crimes. Middleton said several tips flooded in after the department asked for the community's help.

"We get some information that leads us to the possible location of some of these firearms," said Middleton. "When we investigate that, we find the weapons and they are indeed stolen. After we made the arrest, we publicized that fact in the local news paper."

Middleton said tips not only connected the pair to thefts within Lexington city limits, but also to cold-case thefts under investigation by the Henderson County Sheriff's Department.

"(They are) very important," said Investigator Tracey Grisham, Henderson County Sheriff's Dept. "Without help, this case would have never been solved."

Deputies charged both Priddy and Justus with aggravated robbery and theft of property more than $1,000 dollars after tips led the recovery of several stolen items and a confession statement.

"This couple claims they were just riding around, saw what they thought was an abandoned house, then pulled into the driveway and see a trailer," said Grisham. "They hooked it to their vehicle and then start loading it up with things inside the garage."

Officials said they depend on tips to get answers.

According to records there have been a total of 78 theft and burglary cases reported to the Henderson County Sheriff's Dept this year to date. Grisham said deputies have solved 36 cases so far.

Lexington police have reportedly had 56 total theft and burglary cases. Out of the 56 cases, 24 are still under investigation. Middleton said this case proves that just one tip can solve many mysteries.

"Don't just dismiss any suspicions you might see," said Middleton. "Provide that information to us because we have to have it in order to do our job. We've been successful in bringing closure to several victims who were connected to several difference crimes."

If you have any further information in this case or believe that you may have purchased stolen property, call the Henderson County Sheriff's Department at (731) 968-7777.
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