Grainger Today Reporter
BEAN STATION – A Bean Station man was arrested after spiderweb evidence implicated him in the burglary of a church and a house Monday, May 31.
According to a report filed by Grainger County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Nathan Cook, Christopher R. Beets, 34, reportedly burglarized a church and a home on Heath Chapel Lane.
Cook was conducting a property check at Heath Chapel Church when he noticed the doors to its detached restrooms were open and the padlocks had been cut off. He reported a large amount of dusty spiderwebs were in one of the restrooms and an area near the doorway had noticeably broken spiderwebs. A trustee of the church met Cook at the location and was speaking with him when Beets approached the trustee’s vehicle from a nearby residence.
Beets was reportedly acting nervous and said he had been repairing a vehicle at the residence. He informed Cook he did not know the owner of the vehicle, but had reportedly been asked to fix the truck by Bobby Hannah.
Cook noticed a large, dusty spiderweb on Beets’ shoulder before detaining him and investigating the area. While placing Beets into the patrol vehicle, Cook found a set of keys in Beets’ possession, which he reportedly claimed were for the vehicle he was repairing. He did not have any mechanic tools with him.
Cook checked the two residences on the property where Beets said he had been working. He began at the main residence and noticed a wheelbarrow near the walk-in door to the basement had an assortment of chargers, two batteries, a gas can, an ammo can, an assortment of tools and a boat bumper in it.
The door to the basement was not secure, and the upstairs had not been entered. However, Cook found a five-gallon water bottle had been moved in the basement after noticing water had been spilled onto the floor. The garage door was partially opened and an unlocked 1987 Toyota pickup truck was parked in the driveway.
The second residence was then checked, and it appeared nothing had been disturbed. Its backdoor was unlocked. Cook checked the area around a pontoon boat while on the property and found a white trash bag with bolt cutters sticking out of it. Inside the bag, Cook found a black backpack with an assortment of pry bars, a power inverter, a fire extinguisher, a hammer, two syphon pumps, the bolt cutters and a notebook with “record of money collected at Heath Chapel” written on the cover.
Beets reportedly informed Cook the backpack looked like his, which had been stolen from his home. He also reportedly said he had moved the wheelbarrow to work on the truck. Cook attempted to collect fingerprint evidence from the items in the wheelbarrow and there were none. He placed the wheelbarrow and its contents in the basement and closed both doors.
A neighbor reported hearing voices and hammering inside the residence and believed the property owner was there. Cook spoke with the owner of the residence by telephone, who reported no one was supposed to be at the residence or working on his truck. The keys, which were reportedly in Beets’ possession, were located on a hook in the basement. He informed officers all doors at the residence had been locked when he had been at the home the week before. He also informed officers the basement door had been braced by a two by four piece of lumber, which was not in place when Cook surveyed the residence.
Beets was arrested and charged with aggravated burglary, two counts of burglary, possession of burglary tools, vandalism and theft of property more than $500. He was transported to Grainger County Detention Center.