[UPDATE] Jefferson County Burglary Suspects in Custody

UPDATED 12.23.2010 11:10 by Julie Montanaro

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is now releasing the names of two teens accused of breaking into a Monticello home Wednesday and stealing at least one gun.

The homeowner came home and surprised them, prompting a three hour search for the teens in the woods nearby.

A sheriff's office spokesman says 18 year old Tavoris Morris and 15 year old Devin James are now facing charges of armed burglary and grand theft of a firearm.

Morris was denied bond at his first appearance this morning, the JCSO spokesman said, and James has been turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

UPDATED 12.22.2010 6:35pm by Julie Montanaro

Jefferson County Sheriff David Hobbs says a 15 year old and an 18 year old have been charged with armed burglary and grand theft of a firearm in connection with today's burglary on Alabama Street.

Hobbs said a third teen questioned today did not appear to be involved in the break-in.

The sheriff's office is not yet releasing any names.

UPDATED 12.22.2010 5:45pm by Julie Montanaro

A Monticello woman gets the surprise of her life as burglars ransack her home.

She walked in on in them and they ran out, prompting a three-hour long search in the heart of town.

"I was scared to death, Miss Julie."

Betty Spence noticed the dogs barking when she pulled up and when she went inside her Alabama Street home, she knew right away something was wrong.

"Our bedroom door was open and the light was on and I know that wasn't on when I left. I called my husband and said "Honey?" And he didn't answer. And we have our grandson with us and I said "Ben?" And he wouldn't answer me either," Spence said.

"So I pushed the bathroom door open and one of the guys was behind the door, and when I did, I backed up and he ran in front of me and the other one was in the other bedroom and he ran behind me, and one went out the front door and one went out the back door," Spence said.

Deputies say the men got away with at least one gun, maybe more. They blanketed the woods near Jefferson Elementary school and had patrol cars posted at the corner of Mamie Scott and Cypress and more at the corner of Goldburg and Rocky Branch.

"I was just overwhelmed, just to know that it was broad daylight, you know, somebody breakin' in people's house in broad daylight," said neighbor Surleany Contreres as she hugged Spence in her front yard.

Back at the scene of the crime, neighbors waited for word. Stunned that the burglars would break down Spence's back door just days before Christmas.

“Hopefully they can get through it and hopefully they find who did it, because it shouldn’t happen around here," neighbor Lawrence Blake said as he watched the commotion from across the street.

Three hours later ... good news from Goldburg Street. Deputies and police ushered three teens into waiting patrol cars.

Deputies may have tracked them down, but the guns they're suspected of stealing are still missing.

Betty Spence says she's just grateful to be alive tonight.

At last word, the teens were still being questioned. We'll let you know as soon as the sheriff releases their names and the exact charges they'll be facing.

UPDATED 12.22.2010 2pm by Julie Montanaro

A Monticello woman says she arrived home from running errands this morning to find two burglars in her house on Alabama Street.

She says she noticed her bedroom door was open. She says she called out her husband's name and grandson's name and got no response. When she went in, she said, a man bolted from behind the bathroom door and took off. One man ran out the front door, the other out the back. She says she yelled at them, but they didn't say a word.

She says one of the burglars was a tall black man and the other was a short black man.

The sheriff says the burglars stole at least one gun from the home, possibly more.

Deputies and police searched the woods near Jefferson Elementary School for more than three hours. The sheriff says at about 12:30, they took three teenagers into custody at a house on Goldburg Street.

We got there in time to see patrol car drive by with a man in a striped shirt crouched down in the back seat. A second patrol car soon followed with a young man sitting in the back wearing a green t-shirt and a black jacket.

The sheriff says the three teens are being interviewed and no charges have been filed yet, but say they could be facing burglary or armed burglary charges.

The sheriff says they have not yet recovered any of the stolen guns.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says a woman walked into her home on Alabama Street Wednesday morning and found two men inside. Deputies say one fled out the front door, the other out the back door. We're told the men got away with guns from the woman's home. Deputies are searching for the two suspects in the wooded area near the elementary school off Rocky Branch Road. We have a crew on scene and will bring you more information as it becomes available.

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