A Johnson City man now faces more than 200 charges and police tell News 5 this ends an investigation into a string of storage unit burglaries.
It was a tip that led police straight to Joey Holmes. He was arrested and taken to the Washington County Detention Center under a $100,000 bond on Thursday.
Security cameras, a barbed wire fence, and locks couldn't keep at least 54 units safe at Roy's Westside Mini Warehouses. "[Someone] broke in, [got] inside and cut units from the inside. We didn't have any way of knowing that they'd actually broke in until our customers came and opened the door," explained owner Roy Glass.
But storage units in the Tri-Cities are a little safer now since police have arrested the suspect and charged him with 210 counts of burglary and theft of property. "So it was 210 different ones where he went through to make entry and into the next one. So there are 210 different victims," said Lieutenant Steve Sherfey with the Johnson City Police Department.
Police believe Holmes hit not one, but several storage unit businesses in Johnson City and took small things like jewelry. "Most of the stuff he pawned, [but] I'm sure there was a lot that was sold to individuals," said Lieutenant Sherfey.
Inside a hotel room at the Johnson Inn where Holmes was living officers found property from the units and tools used in break-ins. "He would go from staying inside [the unit], going through the walls of the storage unit buildings all the way down through," added Lieutenant Sherfey.
After 25 years of business Glass told News 5 he's locking every unit, even encouraging customers to buy new locks. But he doesn't worry much now that he's hired a night-guard, "Because he doesn?t sleep, he stays awake and he watches. And only one thing I can say, God bless the man that comes across that fence the next time," he said.
Police are investigating to see if Holmes was working alone. They recommend getting a circular lock since those models can be harder to cut.