Blount County man catches alleged thief, holds him at gunpoint

8:32 PM, Jun 30, 2010   |    comments
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A suspected Maryville burglar is under arrest after he was allegedly caught in the act and held at gunpoint.

John Ross Webb, 24, of Maryville, is facing charges of burglary of a vehicle and unlawful carrying of a weapon. He was being held in the Blount County Detention Center on $31,000 bond.

Webb was arrested after Blount County Sheriff's deputies arrived at the home of Jason Smith, who was holding Webb at gunpoint.

Smith said he was sitting at his computer right in front of a window, when he noticed the dome light in his car come on and then saw a person inside.

"I got up, and I grabbed my firearm," he said. "I pointed my gun at the windshield and watched him for about a minute or two, then I asked him, what are you doing in my car?"

Smith said, at first, Webb didn't notice him or the gun. He banged on the side of the house to wake his wife, who called 911.

Meanwhile, Smith continued to hold him at gunpoint, realizing Webb had a machete.

"He said, 'this is a big misunderstanding, just let me leave and I'll return all your items. Let me leave, let me slip through the woods, let me go elsewhere before the cops get here,'" Smith described. "He says, 'I can't afford to get arrested.'"

Smith said letting Webb go wasn't an option, adding that he has "zero tolerance" for thieves. Webb reportedly told Smith he was only trying to retrieve property that was stolen from him out of his friend's car.

But Smith said that story didn't hold up when the suspect could neither name the color or type of car.

When officers arrived, Smith said he got his GPS and knife back from Webb, but officers found even more items in his bag and later in his car. Those items included checks, debit cards, another GPS and pawn shop slips.

"I think he needs to repay his debt to society, and I think he needs to learn his lesson, and I hope he does get a harsh penalty 'cause it's the people that work hard for what they have, and they like what they have. If they didn't like what they have, they wouldn't have it," Smith said. "This is one person that's going to learn his lesson now, hopefully."

Webb is set to appear in court on July 7.

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