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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
September Officers of the Month

Officers' Teamwork Nets Suspect Connected To More Than Two-Dozen Car Burglaries
Officers of the Month
Civilians of the Month

November 4, 2004 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen today named Officer Mike Waggoner, Officer Robert Hembree and Investigator Steve Still as the September Officers of the Month. Officer Waggoner has been with KPD since 1974. Officer Hembree has been with the department since 1997 and Investigator Still has been on the force since 1995.

Mayor Haslam, Officer Waggoner, Officer Hembree, Investigator Still, Police Chief OwenChief Owen said that on September 27th Officers Waggoner and Hembree caught twenty year-old Jason Cates breaking into a vehicle in the Old City. Cates was arrested and charged with three counts of vehicle burglary. Realizing this probably was not Cates' first time of breaking into vehicles, the officers notified Investigator Sill to conduct an additional investigation.

During an interview, the suspect admitted to committing several additional vehicle burglaries in the Old City, Downtown, and UT areas. The suspect showed the officers locations where these incidents had occurred including what type of vehicle had been burglarized, what items had been stolen, and how he got into the vehicles.

Based on that information Cates was charged with fourteen additional auto burglaries and one count of auto theft. In addition, Investigators with the University of Tennessee Police Department are currently investigating Cates for approximately fourteen auto burglaries that occurred on their campus and expect to file charges soon.

Chief Owen said, "Attention to detail, dedication and a desire to maintain expected professional standards was the key to the success of this investigation. All of these traits were demonstrated in this joint effort by these fine officers."

Mayor Haslam said, "This is an excellent example of how teamwork improves the overall success of any endeavor. The Knoxville community is appreciative of their fine work and dedication to making the streets of Knoxville safer for all to enjoy."

The officers will receive a signed certificate from the Mayor and Chief and a free dinner from Ruby Tuesday Restaurant.

For Immediate Release
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