Two charged with regional Lowe’s robberies
Two Sevier County men charged in the Sept. 18 armed robbery at the Sevierville Lowe’s are the lone suspects in a robbery at the Morristown home-improvement store two days before, detectives said this morning.
A Lowe’s employee has already identified one of the suspects, 33-year-old Seymour resident Christopher Hudgins, in a photo lineup, according to Detective Capt. Randall Noe with the Morristown Police Department.
The employee was unable to immediately identify the second suspect, Stephen B. King, 42, Sevierville, but the lead investigator, MPD Detective Darrin Burchfield, said this morning he plans to charge King.
Hudgins and King are also suspects in the Sept. 13 robbery at the Newport Lowe’s store, as well as in other cities in Tennessee and Georgia, according to Burchfield.
The similarities in the cases are striking.
In all three instances, the robbers allegedly stole combination power tool kits, and in at least two of the cases DeWalt-brand tools were taken, according to law enforcement officials.
Another similarity is the alleged getaway car, a black, 1990s-model BMW sedan.
Hudgins and King were in a black BMW sedan when they were taken into custody in Knoxville over the weekend. Inside the vehicle, police also found a silver handgun.
The Lowe’s employee in Sevierville reported the robbers displayed a silver handgun while robbing that store.
Store employees in Morristown and Newport reported the two bandits allegedly threatened to shoot them if they did not comply, according to law enforcement officials.
Hudgins and King will be charged with robbery – not aggravated, or armed robbery – in Morristown because they did not display the handgun.
King could have bigger legal problems than the ever-mounting aggravated robbery and robbery charges mounting in East Tennessee and Georgia.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, King is a convicted felon and cannot legally possess a firearm.
-From Staff Reports