A man suspected of stealing a man's truck and dog from a Knox County Weigel's last Friday has been arrested.
The Knox County Sheriff's Office said they found 39-year-old Donald Jack Cates hiding in a house on Tipton Station Road Monday morning. He was taken into custody without incident and faces charges of felony theft and animal cruelty with a bond of $17,500.
KCSO said Cates has a criminal history of theft, driving without a license and criminal trespassing.
Last week, the owner was reunited with his beloved dog and truck after they were stolen from him Friday morning.
The truck was reported stolen after the owner, Joe Roberts, said he left it running at the Weigel's at 3104 West Governor John Sevier Highway. His dog, a white Shih Tzu named LuLu, was still inside the truck when it was taken around 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Roberts told officers he went into the gas station for a couple of minutes while he left the vehicle running for LuLu.
"That dog’s been by my side for 11 years. She goes everywhere with me," Roberts said. "She means the world. She’s the last thing I have of my mother’s. She was with my mom with her last three years of life and she made my momma stop talking about dying."
KCSO said a witness saw a white man with tan Carhartt overalls and a pink hoodie get into the truck and head east on Governor John Sevier Highway. Joe said he was only concerned for the safety of LuLu.
"I can always buy a new truck," Roberts said. "I can't buy a best friend."
KCSO said they found the truck abandoned at Government Farm Road after officers canvased the area. The dog was found safe inside the vehicle and reunited with Roberts.
"Thank God that my prayers were answered," Roberts said. "I don’t know what I’d do without this little girl."