Chase suspect back in Hamblen County jail

A man who led police on a high-speed chase in a borrowed truck from central Morristown into North Carolina on Oct. 28 has been returned to Tennessee and Saturday evening remained in the Hamblen County Jail, according to authorities.

The pursuit of Richard Dale Darby, 43, Lumbardy Drive, began after he allegedly broke the glass on a side door of the Guitar Vault on East Main Street. Darby loaded several guitars and other musical equipment into the pickup, but was still inside the store when the business owner responded to an alarm around 1:30 a.m., according to Detective Ricky Sanders with the Morristown Police Department. The estimated loss to the business is $15,000, according to the detective.

Earlier that night, Darby allegedly hit the Trade Center on South Cumberland Street. There, he allegedly forced his way inside the business and stole three guitars and an amplifier. The Chevrolet Silverado pickup, which Darby borrowed from his landlord, was seized in evidence after he was arrested in North Carolina, according to Detective Darrin Burchfield.

Darby is also charged with felony theft for allegedly stealing a Gibson guitar and an Ibanez guitar, which have a combined value of $1,600, from Lloyd’s Music Mart on West Andrew Johnson Highway on Oct. 21, according to Detective Ron Sargent.

After driving away from the Guitar Vault, with police in pursuit, Darby circled north on Sherwood Drive and then into the northbound lane of Buffalo Trail and continued onto South Cumberland Street, and then onto Highway 25E.

After looping on Old Witt Road, he returned onto the highway before heading south on Interstate 81. He left the interstate briefly at Exit 4, before heading east on Interstate 40.

He’s charged with felony evading arrest, three counts of burglary, two counts of felony theft, along with driving-related offenses.