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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Officers of the Month
Civilians of the Month
Arrest of Burglary Suspects Earns Officer Special Award

March 26, 2004 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Phil Keith today announced Knoxville Police Department Officer Todd Hardin as the February Officer of the Month. Officer Hardin has been with the department since August 1998.

On February 9, 2004 at approximately 2:23 a.m., Officer Hardin noticed a vehicle loitering in the Magic Spray Car Wash located on Central Avenue Pike. Upon circling back to investigate, the car quickly left the business. Officer Hardin followed the vehicle where he initiated a traffic stop after noticing the vehicle had an improperly displayed temporary tag.

Upon initiating his investigation, Officer Hardin found the vehicle to be occupied by three males and in plain view, a large amount of quarters, bolt cutters, and a blowtorch. During his preliminary investigation, one of the occupants stated that the quarters had been stolen from a car wash in Maryville. At that point, all three males where transported to the Safety Building to be interviewed by an investigator.

During the interview the suspects confessed to breaking into five newspaper machines, ten Coke machines, two air machines, and two car washes. These crimes occurred in several locations including Knoxville, Maryville, Halls, Dandridge and Chattanooga.

Chief Keith said, "Officer Hardin's actions resulted in the arrest of three individuals that were responsible for numerous burglaries and vandalisms throughout the East Tennessee region. Officer Hardin's traffic stop and subsequent arrest possibly prevented several more businesses from being victimized."

Mayor Haslam said, "Several cities throughout East Tennessee have benefited from Officer Hardin's traffic stop and arrest. He is commended for his actions in removing these suspects from the streets."

Officer Hardin will receive a signed certificate from the Mayor and Chief along with a free dinner from Ruby Tuesday Restaurant.

Suspects Arrested and their charges:

I) Charles Wesley Sands from Knoxville DOB 01-05-80
Charges: Possession of Burglary Tools

II) David Lee Kaiser from Knoxville DOB 01-10-73
Charges: Vandalism, Possession of Burglary Tools

III) Matthew Lee McMillan from Knoxville DOB 10-05-81
Charges: Vandalism, Possession of Burglary Tools

Evidence recovered from the suspects Chevrolet Blazer include:

Bolt Cutters
Two Tire Tools
Three Pairs of Gloves
$285.50 in quarters

Additional charges could be placed on all three suspects as the investigation continues.

For Immediate Release
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