Hawkins County

Items taken from Hawkins County hazmat team

HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. - An investigation is underway in Hawkins County after equipment worth thousands of dollars goes missing.

Things like flashlights, extension cords, generators and a thermal imaging camera are all missing from the Hawkins County Emergency Response Team.

It's an all volunteer group that responds to hazmat situations.

Behind these doors lies vital equipment used during hazardous situations like diesel spills or meth labs. Thirty volunteers spend time here assisting Hawkins County. It's the only volunteer hazmat group in Tennessee.

Recently some of their equipment went missing, sometime between October 22 and 23. "Two generators, light towers, thermal imaging camera, oil drain pans, extension cords," says Assistant Hazmat Cheif Michael Thacker.

In all the stolen items total nearly $12,000. "Some of them were through grants and most of it was from the money we get from the county every year," adds Thacker.

Now investigators are trying to figure out who would take these items and what they'd do with them. "I don't know, unless they thought they could just make some fast money on it," says Thacker.

The hazmat team says they keep their equipment locked in their facility and there's only one door in and out. Police say that door has no signs of any forced entry.

Thacker says they don't have any suspects and there's not any evidence left behind, so they're hoping the public will help them find their stolen items.

"Keep an eye out for it. If they see anything suspicious contact the sheriff's office. If someone comes up with a big generator or thermal imaging camera," adds Thacker.

Police are asking anyone with information to call the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office at (423) 272-4848.

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