The search continues for the thief or thieves responsible for a rash of break-ins in Athens. While the person responsible is nowhere to be found, police did have some good news for the victims.
NewsChannel9 first told you about Ronnie Coleman's family a few weeks ago. His family's homes on County Road 65 were broken into one after another over the past year, taking some items that were family heirlooms. Thanks to the help of police, Ronnie's father, Johnny is getting back some of those heirlooms that mean so much.
"I just felt plum empty inside. I just felt weak and just kind of fell over against the door and said, Oh Lord Joanne, they've got my guns," Coleman tells NewsChannel9 in an October 3rd interview.
Six guns to be exact, taken right out of Coleman's gun safe in his Athens Home. He wasn't alone. Four other members of the Coleman family all went through the same thing.
"Here I really felt violated. I now know how a lot of people feel that get robbed from. You feel helpless. You can't do anything," says son Ronnie Coleman.
Police say the person they feel is responsible is still on the loose.
"Often times, there isn't a happy ending. I would say that seems to be the norm with these things. They are very difficult. If their are no eye witnesses, no tangible evidence, there are sometimes, often, very difficult to solve," says Eric Allman with the McMinn County Sheriff's Office.
But this time, that's not the case. Police say a week after receiving the report, they followed up on a tip that led them to some stolen goods. That's where they found two of Johnny Coleman's guns.
"He told us that it was a gift from his father some 63 years ago and it's always good to return stolen property to somebody but something like that, that means so much," says Allman.
With a quick signature and identity check, Coleman is taking the family heirlooms home. Through it all Coleman says he tried to remain optimistic and hope for the best.
"It's just wordly stuff. If you don't get it back, it'd be the Lord's will," says Coleman.
Police say they've narrowed down suspect leads. They're hoping when they find him, they find Johnny Coleman's four other guns.By Alyssa Spirato