Instant karma: Getaway car wouldn't start after man allegedly ransacked house

Jeff Bobo • Jan 15, 2018 at 7:00 PM

SURGOINSVILLE — It may have been a bit of instant karma coming back on a Morristown man whose car wouldn't start after he allegedly ransacked the home of his wife's recently deceased aunt's in Surgoinsville Sunday night.

Darryl Neal Frith, 54, 3221 Landmark Drive, Morristown, later allegedly told police he did it because he didn't believe his wife received a big enough inheritance from her late aunt's estate.

Police arrived at the Wood Lane residence at 9:40 p.m. Sunday shortly after Frith knocked on a neighbor's door asking for a "jump".

But, the jump wasn't needed. When police tried to start his 2006 Toyota Camry it fired right up.

HCSO Deputy Chad Gillenwater, who was working part time for the Surgoinsville Police Department Sunday, questioned Frith, who stated his wife had asked him to stop and check on the welfare of her late aunt's residence.

HCSO deputies Jamie Smith and Kathy Painter also responded to the scene, and after officers confirmed Frith's license and registration were in order he was free to go.

After Frith left, however, the officers decided on a hunch to check out the residence for themselves.

What they found was the back door glass busted out, and that the entire interior of the residence had been ransacked.

SPD Chief James Hammonds told the Times News Monday that the exact value of the damage is not yet known, but it's easily several thousand dollars.

At the exact moment officers put out the BOLO (be on the lookout) for Frith, he'd been stopped in Rogersville for speeding. At that point Frith was arrested and brought back to Surgoinsville for questioning, where he reportedly confessed.

"Mr. Frith said he was out riding around, and he didn't feel like his wife got her fair share of an inheritance," Hammonds said. "The more he rode around, the madder he got, and the next thing he knew he was at the residence on Wood Lane. He decided to pick up a rock and bust the back door out, and he went to ransacking, and damaging stuff. The owner had been deceased since summer, and all of her furnishings and property were still in the house."

Hammonds added, "He did several thousands of dollars worth of damage. There was a 1980s model Mustang in the basement garage, and he flipped a cabinet over on it. He ripped the medicine cabinets off the wall, pictures off the walls and busted them. He busted glasses, busted jars — just pretty much went on a rage inside."

The only thing Frith allegedly stole from the house was a Fedora hat, which he was wearing when he was arrested.

Frith was charged with aggravated burglary, vandalism, and theft under $500.

As of Monday Frith was being held in the Hawkins County Jail with no bond pending arraignment Wednesday in Sessions Court.

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