Arrest made in theft from Merchants Greene worksite

A search warrant for a Morristown man led to his arrest for $35,000 worth of equipment at Merchants Greene as well as felony firearm charges.

Eliazar Perez, 35, of Clover Leaf Drive, faces charges of theft over $10,000 and unlawful possession of weapon.

According to an affidavit, Hamblen County deputies found a Ford F-450 truck stuck in the mud on Chucky River Road on Dec. 30. The truck, valued at $15,000, belonged to Summers-Taylor, a contractor based out of Johnson City.

Deputies learned the truck had been stolen from a job site at Merchants Greene. Authorities said they also found an enclosed trailer worth $6,000 and $14,000 worth of tools, including a soil packer, had been stolen from the site between Dec. 27 and Dec. 29.

Witnesses told authorities they had seen a goldish colored Tahoe pulling the trailer along Chucky River Road, the same location the stolen truck was found.

On Jan. 8, detectives visited Perez and saw a goldish Tahoe in the driveway, along with a soil packer on a trailer.

Detectives were issued a search warrant on Tuesday and when they arrived at Perez’s home, the soil packer was gone.

Authorities said Perez then admitted he had stolen the soil packer and given it to a metal scrapper and took the stolen enclosed trailer toward Virginia and left it on the side of the road.

During the search, detectives also found a Taurus handgun within the home.

Perez admitted buying the gun a year earlier and that he was a convicted felon, according to the affidavit.

Detectives found Perez had felonies on his record, the most recent being convicted of felony possession of methamphetamine in Cobb County, Georgia.

He is currently in the Hamblen County Jail.