BY KEN LITTLE
A woman allegedly responsible for a series of purse-snatchings and other thefts in the area bonded out of the Greene County Detention Center Monday morning and went right back to work, police said.
Latashia Dawn (Ragon) Hensley, 27, who has listed home addresses on Sinking Springs Road and Fairview Road, was charged with theft under $500 and evading arrest Monday morning after her latest encounter with law enforcement.
An alleged victim living in the 800 block of Carolina Drive told Greeneville police that about 11 a.m. on Monday, a young woman with blonde hair knocked on the door of her apartment and asked to use the phone.
After using the phone, the victim told the woman that she had an appointment and needed to leave, Officer Rick Burgner said in a report.
The woman then asked for a ride to the Alpine Apartments on Carolina Drive, and the victim agreed.
She drove the woman to the back of the apartment buildings, where the woman "grabbed her purse, put it under her sweatshirt and took off running," the report said.
The victim attempted to chase the woman. Meanwhile, a man coming out of an apartment in the building saw the suspect running and called 911, the report said.
Greeneville police arrived in the neighborhood and saw the woman, who attempted to flee on foot but was taken into custody after a foot pursuit.
She was identified as Hensley, the report said. The victim's purse and contents were recovered near her car.
Hensley was charged with theft under $500 and evading arrest. Bond was set at $1,500.
Hensley was scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court Monday on earlier charges, and a failure-to-appear warrant was served. She is now scheduled to appear Wednesday in court.
Hensley had been taken into custody Sunday night by Greeneville police. She is a suspect in other weekend thefts, sheriff's deputies said in a report.
A billfold containing $1,200 in cash was stolen from a house in the 600 block of Lovers Lane, the report said.
The victim told deputies "a good looking girl" he knew as "Tasha" came to the door and asked to use the bathroom.
After she left, the victim realized his billfold was missing. The billfold was in the pocket of a pair of trousers next to the victim's bed, the report said.
The woman left in a black car, the report said.
Another man reported on Saturday that he had given "Tasha" a ride from his Sinking Springs Road home to an address on Lovers Lane.
The ride was provided after "Tasha" helped unload groceries at the man's house, he told deputies.
After the man dropped her off, he found that his wallet was missing. It contained $50 in cash, three credit cards and a driver license.
A transaction on one of the credit cards was recorded Saturday night at a Greeneville service station, the report said.
CHARGES FILED SUNDAY
At the time of the crimes Sunday, Greeneville police were investigating earlier reports of thefts by a woman fitting Hensley's description.
She was arrested Sunday night and charged with aggravated burglary, burglary and three counts of theft under $500, Greeneville police Detective Lt. Ray Allen Jr. said in a report.
Hensley was charged in connection with a series of alleged thefts between May 7 and 14. She was identified by witnesses in a photo lineup, the report said.
Hensley allegedly stole $40 from a man's wallet on May 14 in an apartment in the 200 block of South Irish Street, the report said.
On May 10, Hensley allegedly took a purse and its contents from an apartment in the 1400 block of East Church Street. The purse and contents are valued at $70.
Hensley allegedly stole two weed trimmers on May 7 from a storage building in the 200 block of Old Knoxville Highway, the report said.
The weed trimmers are worth a total of $350.
Bond for Hensley was set Sunday night at $11,500. She was scheduled to appear Monday in General Sessions Court, but instead allegedly attempted to steal the purse from the woman living on Carolina Drive, police said.
Money for drugs is the likely reason for the alleged one-woman crime wave, investigators said.
MORE VICTIMS IDENTIFIED
Greeneville police said there are at least six victims of crimes committed by Hensley.
Other theft reports are under investigation by Sheriff's Department detectives.
"She's just been on a tear the last three weeks," Allen said.
Sheriff's deputies located Hensley Sunday night.
"They served warrants on her and she bonded out, and as soon as she bonded out, she started committing more crimes," Allen said.
Hensley "was just knocking on random houses," he said.
Most of the crime victims are age 60 or over, Allen said.
Hensley is held on the failure-to-appear warrant, so it's unlikely she will be able to bond out of jail again before her scheduled court appearance Wednesday, Allen said.
Anyone with information about other crimes that may have been committed can contact Allen at the Greeneville Police Department at 639-7111.