While conducting a surveillance operation on the morning of Sunday, December 2nd, a ranger saw what appeared to be a man breaking into a vehicle parked at the Chimney Tops Trailhead on Newfound Gap Road. The man then left the area in a Ford pickup. When rangers attempted to stop the truck on Little River Road west of Sugarlands Visitor Center, the man fled and continued to elude rangers until he exited the park at the Townsend Wye. Once outside the park, rangers turned over the pursuit to Blount County Sheriff’s Office deputies, who took the 38-year-old Tennessee man into custody after he crashed his truck.
Rangers and special agents subsequently confirmed the theft of property from a visitor’s Ford Explorer parked at Chimney Tops Trailhead. The investigation of the offenses occurring within the park continues; federal charges are anticipated.