Cleveland Police Dept. and ATF Offering $10,000 Reward for Info on Gun Store Burglary


CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WDEF) — A Cleveland Gun Store on Georgetown Road was burglarized on Tuesday morning, when thieves smashed a stolen pickup through the front wall. They stole several guns and made their get-away.

Cleveland Police responded to the business burglar alarm at 3:19 am, Tuesday morning.

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When they arrived at American Defense Company—-a gun store– they found extensive damage to the front of the building.

Surveillance footage showed a Silver Dodge Ram had backed through the front wall of the store, and several suspects had taken guns before driving away.

Later, investigators also found that . . .

“The Dodge Ram truck was actually stolen earlier that night from a local apartment complex off Blackburn Road. They did find the stolen truck, with some merchandise in it, on Westside Drive, which is probably less than a half – a quarter mile from the scene,” said Evie West, Cleveland Police Department Public Relations Officer.

The Cleveland Police Department is asking for the community’s help in tracking down the suspects.

“From the footage, we feel like there’s at least 3, could be more, that’s why it’s important that we work with the community to try to find out, just more information, what people know,” said officer West.

But, in this case, it’s not just about finding the suspects.

“I think the most important part is that we have firearms that – that are unaccounted for right now, and so that’s why it’s really important that we really get the word out to the community to solicit their help in finding these suspects and getting any information that we need to recover the firearms,” said West.

And there’s a substantial reward.

“Our department and our investigators are working with ATF, and we are offering a 10 thousand dollar reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspects,” said officer West.

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Ashley is a lifetime Chattanooga area resident, and a 1987 graduate from UTC, with a BA in communications. While there, he was commissioned through the ROTC program, served simultaneously in the 1/181st field artillery Tn. Army National Guard, finished Airborne school, was a member of the Scabbard and Blade military honor society and ROTC Rangers, the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, played snare drum with the UTC Marching band, and played in a southern rock band called Southern Atmosphere, while working a full time job as a trainer at the Sports Barn. He also won the Southeastern United States teenage bodybuilding competition during this time. Ashley has been with News 12 Now for 21 years. Prior to working here he was a videographer, director, producer and editor at Falcon Cable TV in Dalton, Ga. for 6 years where he produced thousands of commercials and dozens of hour long features. He also worked as a freelancer and employee at another network affiliate in Chattanooga. He has operated a part time video production business from home for 25 years. He says his passion is telling stories that feature people who give of themselves to help others, and stories that inspire people to make positive changes in themselves and their communities. Ashley is ecstatically married to Debbie Henderson, and has two step sons, a daughter in law, a sister, and lots of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. His parents are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. Ashley and Debbie are active members of Brainerd Baptist Church. His interests include weight training and cycling with his wife, photography, poetry, playing drums, and checking off items from his extensive honey-do list. If you would like to reach Ashley, email him at