According to the Ringgold Police Department:
Richard James Keen, 23, of Ringgold was booked early Friday morning, May 18, on two counts of burglary, three counts of entering an auto, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, and interference with government property.
Keen allegedly stole several items from vehicles and burglarized two buildings between Wednesday night, May 16, and Thursday night, May 17, reports show.
Officers responded to a suspicious person call in the area of North Street in Ringgold late Thursday night, at which time they located Keen one street over near the F.M. Russell Steel Fabrication plant at 4780 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road.
“As officer Patrick Stooksbury approached the business in his patrol car, he saw a white male (Keen) hiding just inside the tree line,” said detective Patrick Mason.
A scan of the F.M. Russell building revealed that the glass of the front door had been broken out, with blood smears on a pipe next to the door and the doorknob of the font door, with several Crayola colored pencils strewn about on the ground near the entrance, reports show.
“Mr. Keen had blood on his clothes, which resulted from a laceration to his right thumb,” Mason said. “Also on his person were several assorted Crayola colored pencils, and a pair of work gloves.”
Several hand tools had been removed from the shop and were located in the small alleyway between the two buildings of the business.
Keen was taken into custody and transported to Catoosa County jail, at which time an interview was conducted regarding other cases.
As a resulting of the subsequent interview, Keen has been charged with another burglary as well as three counts of entering an auto.
Ringgold police received two calls Thursday morning, May 17, one of which involved an unknown offender jump-ing the fence at the city’s water treatment plant and stealing several items. The second call related to GPS units and other miscellaneous items being taken from vehicles in the area of North and Stephenson streets.
“We had calls Thursday morning in reference to the entering autos and the water plant incident, and were able to recover the stolen items,” said chief Dan Bilbrey. “Weed eaters, trimmers, chainsaws, and GPS units were lo-cated during the investigation and recovered. Our detective and officers worked diligently throughout the night and early morning on the case, and we also received great assistance from the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office during the incident.”
Neighbors and witnesses stated that Keen had been living with a relative in an apartment on North Street for a few weeks, and that he has a history of abuse towards drugs and alcohol, reports show.
“The only motivation for the burglaries and thefts at this time is that they were drug related,” Mason said. “The case is still under investigation and we are gathering more information as it becomes available.”