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Henderson County Deputies Make Arrests in Gun Thefts

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

HENDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. – Deputies with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department have arrested several suspects who they said were involved in a gun theft ring.

Robert Walters III, 18, Michael Mchorris, 18, John Winslow, 36, and a juvenile are charged in connection with several gun thefts.
Authorities said deadly weapons can fall into the wrong hands easily when residents do not properly secure their weapons.

"My opinion on gun control, you can make any law you are going to make but the criminals are still going to get their hands on firearms, this right here proves it," said Captain Tracey Grisham. "One of them is not even old enough to purchase a firearm."

Captain Grisham said the group allegedly stole the guns then used them to commit other crimes.

"It was just a few miles away from where it was actually stolen where they used it in this home invasion," said Capt. Grisham.

Investigators said the men used the stolen weapons to threaten a homeowner during an aggravated robbery. Grisham said the victim was able to stop the thieves from stealing more weapons. Henderson County Sheriff Brian Duke told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that, in general, thieves are stealing guns that are left in cars.

"You know there are some weapons that are floating out there that are unaccounted for and you don't know what they are being used for or who hands they are in," said Sheriff Duke. "It just leaves the door wide open to so many dangers."

To make sure weapons do not end up in the wrong hands, officials said gun owners should always try and keep their weapons locked away in a safe or cabinet.

"We have to make a conscious effort to know where our guns are to make sure they are secure," said Sheriff Duke.

Deputies said they are still working to find the owner of one of the stolen rifles but that could be nearly impossible if the serial number has not been reported as stolen.

Walters has been charged with burglary and tampering with evidence. Both Mchorris and Winslow are charged with aggravated assault, especially aggravated robbery, and aggravated burglary. Deputies said the juvenile in this case is also facing serious charges.