Detectives are in the business of cracking cases like robberies and thefts. On occasion those offenses hit a little closer to home and cause wider public safety concerns. That's the case in Kingston where police are looking for the culprit who stole official police gear from a local retailer on Thanksgiving night. Police are warning the public to be on the look out for law enforcement imposters.
The owner of A1 Tactical, Scott Arms, told 10News in a phone interview that the thief did not get away with any full police uniforms. However, that person did take enough items that investigators believe could fool anyone who's not paying attention.
"It was discovered at approximately 10 a.m. Friday, the day after Thanksgiving," said Kingston Police Detective Sam Bolden.
Arms showed up at his East Race Street store and found it broken in to. Arms was not there to open for Black Friday; he was in the process of moving to Harriman. He found the lock on the back door broken and the door pushed open.
"No fingerprints were discovered," explained Bolden. But, the detective said the burglar left a footprint behind on the door from kicking it in. He said that could be a key to solving the crime.
"Those are going to be scrutinized. There are no suspects, but we do have a possible person of interest," said Det. Bolden.
Bolden believes that person who broke in to A1 Tactical knew the business.
"The only items he took from the business was police related," said Det. Bolden.
The thief got away with $1,300 worth of gear including a heavy-duty reflective jacket, six pairs of Smith and Wesson handcuffs, some flashlights, two tactical belts and some small cans of mace.
"This person did take four Tennessee Highway Patrol badges. That raises red flags," said Det. Bolden.
Police have notified the FBI and the Office of Homeland Security that those badges are loose. Bolden said drivers need to be aware if they get stopped.
"Nothing other than the obvious. Is he wearing a uniform? Does the uniform look legitimate, look authentic?"
Bolden said if you're pulled over, and have any concerns, to stop in a well-lit area and call 9-1-1.
Even though Kingston police have identified a possible person of interest in this case, they still need your help. If you have any information please call the Roane County 9-11 dispatch center at 865-354-8045.