The reports of burglary victims being beaten with bats is false, Tipton County Sheriff Pancho Chumley said Thursday after the rumor quickly spread via social media.
Several messages regarding possible home invasions that left people assaulted after robberies were reported on Facebook this week, notes of caution to other residents.
“Everyone please lock your doors,” said poster Briana Lin Lockner to the Tipton County Swap Facebook group. “Those people are still going to people (sic) houses asking to use the phone then breaking in and beating and robbing people that let them borrow the phone.”
Deputy Chief Donna Turner, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, said no incidents of this type have been reported to them or to any other law enforcement agency in the county.
However, burglaries in South Tipton County involving a vehicle matching the description of a recent robbery and assault in Millington have been reported.
“I can only assume that the robbery at the Kroger in Millington (not Covington) and some of these burglaries of residences have been combined in error,” she said.
On Jan. 11, there was a vandalism on Watson Road and a home burglary on Wood Hollow Cove, both in Munford.
The Watson Road resident told police he returned home and found a black Honda sedan stuck in the mud behind his house, damaging his yard. The woman driving told him she was turning around in his driveway and got stuck.
On Wood Hollow Cove, a resident told police her son was asleep upstairs and heard a loud sound downstairs.
“As he came down the stairs, he interrupted a burglary and observed a white male and a white female juvenile unhooking the television and electronics,” the sheriff said. “The duo fled with jewelry, a jewelry box and a purse from the residence and left in a black Honda.”
The vehicle, he said, was noticeably covered in mud.
Working with Millington, detectives have determined the suspects match the description of suspects from the robbery at the city’s Kroger location that left a woman assaulted with a baseball bat.
The vehicle believed to be involved, which was a 2001 black four door Honda Civic, has been located in Bartlett and had been repossessed. Items stolen from the Wood Hollow Cove burglary were found inside.
They reiterate that no robbery and assaults have been reported in Tipton County.
“The sheriff’s office has no reported home invasions as suggested in the messages,” Chumley said. “As always, we encourage all citizens to be aware of their surroundings and call in any suspicious activity.”
Authorities are now attempting to identify the suspects involved in the cases. They are a white woman, white man and a white teenaged girl. Chumley said detectives have confirmed the suspects have ties to the Memphis and Shelby County area.
Because the Honda Civic was repossessed, there is no vehicle description.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Criminal Investigations Division at 901-475-3300, Central Dispatch after hours at 901-475-4300, on the tipline at 901-475-3307, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the office’s Facebook page at Sheriff J.T. Pancho Chumley.