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Felon charged with robbery and more in Johnson City crime

Johnson City Press • Updated Jun 30, 2020 at 4:49 PM

Editor’s note: This story originally included an incorrect photograph for Shawn Thrift supplied by the Washington County Detention Center. It has been deleted and replaced.

Auto burglary charge: Johnson City police on Sunday charged Christopher Michael Forbes, 29, 2700 W. Market St., with auto burglary and theft under $1,000. Police said they found property in Forbes’ possession when officers were called to 310 E. Chestnut St. on a report of a trespasser. The property was linked to a reported auto burglary that occurred sometime overnight Saturday/Sunday at 711 S. Mountain View Circle. Forbes was held in the Washington County Detention Center under $21,000 bond awaiting a Sessions Court appearance set for Monday.

Robbery charges: Two people were arrested Saturday after robbing a man of $500, police said in a news release. Jeramie J. Griggs, 28, 114 Sheffield Circle, and April N. Smitley, 37, 1718 Todd Drive, were found at gas station near where the robbery took place and were identified by the victim. About 2 p.m., police were called to Smitley’s address. The victim told dispatchers he had just been robbed and the robbers fled in a vehicle, which police found at the nearby gas station. Police said Smitley and Griggs forcefully took $500 cash from the victim and threatened him. Griggs, a convicted felon, had a loaded handgun, $400 cash and methamphetamine. Smitley had $85 cash, four glass pipes and pills not prescribed to her. Police said they found evidence of a purchase using a $100 bill. Griggs was charged with robbery, possession of methamphetamines, possessing a firearm during the commission to commit dangerous felony and being a convicted felon in possession of handgun. Smitley was charged with robbery, simple possession of schedule III drugs and possession of unlawful drug paraphernalia. Smitley was held in the Detention Center under $12,000 bond. Griggs was held under $22,000. Both were due Monday in Sessions Court.

Gas station assault and chase: Police said an Elizabethton man fled a traffic stop after assaulting a woman at a Johnson City gas station Thursday. Shawn Thrift, 35, Bluefield Avenue, was charged with simple domestic assault, felony evading arrest, driving on a revoked license, improper display of registration and introduction of contraband into a penal facility. About 3:50 p.m., police responded to the Marathon gas station at 502 N. Broadway St. in reference to a disturbance. Several witnesses called 911 to report that a woman was being punched in the face by a man. Witnesses stated the pair left in a gold GMC Yukon and provided a direction of travel and partial tag number.  Police found a vehicle matching the description in the area of East Oakland Avenue and Lakeview Drive. Police said Thrift was driving recklessly, and when they tried to stop him, he sped away. They stopped pursuit.  A short time later, police found the Yukon near Locust Street and arrested Thrift and another occupant after a brief foot chase. Thrift was held in the Detention Center under $21,000 bond and arraigned Friday.

Walmart arrests: 

• Police said they found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia on Justin Powell, 39, 1007 Jackson Terrace, as they arrested him Saturday at a Johnson City Walmart. Powell was charged with burglary, possession of methamphetamine and possession of unlawful drug paraphernalia. About 6:30 p.m., police went to the Walmart at 3111 Browns Mill Road regarding a shoplifting in progress. Police said Powell had selected merchandise and failed to pay. Powell had been banned from the business, resulting in the burglary charge. He was held in the Washington County Detention Center under $4,000 bond awaiting a Sessions Court appearance set for Monday.

• Johnson City police also charged Daniel Hyatt, 37, 361 Malone Road, Watauga, with burglary, shoplifting-theft of property under $1,000 and criminal trespassing. About 3:30 p.m. Saturday, police were at the Browns Mill Road Walmart on an unrelated shoplifting case. Walmart employees and police watched Hyatt on security video as he concealed items down the front of his pants, according to a news release. Hyatt was caught after passing all points of sale and was escorted to the loss prevention office, where all items totaling $62.06 were recovered. Hyatt had been banned from the business after a previous shoplifting conviction. He was held at the Detention Center under $4,000 bond awaiting a Sessions Court appearance set for Monday.

• On Friday, police arrested Carolyn Moorer, 33, 419 Mount Zion Church Road, Jonesborough, at the Walmart at 2915 W. Market St. She was charged with shoplifting and burglary. Police said she had concealed $247.70 worth of items and attempted to leave without paying. Moorer had been banned from the business after a previous shoplifting conviction. She was held in the Detention Center under $2,000 bond awaiting a Sessions Court appearance set for Monday.

• On Wednesday, Johnson City police charged David Taunton, 20, 207 Old Charity Hill Road, Elizabethton, with burglary and possession of methamphetamine after a shoplifting complaint at a Walmart. Police said Walmart employees watched Taunton as he concealed several items in his pants before he attempted to exit the store without paying for the items. Taunton had been issued a no-trespassing notice at Walmart after a previous shoplifting conviction. Taunton was held in the Detention Center under $1,000 bond and arraigned Thursday.