Car thief caught in Knox County

Gary Mills
Gary Mills

A Barbourville man involved in a string of car thefts was caught Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Kentucky State Trooper Kenneth Sergent was the first to respond to the complaint of a stolen Ford Mustang Sunday, Dec. 6.

Shortly after registering the vehicle as stolen, Kentucky State Trooper Chris Pruitt saw a vehicle matching the description on U.S. 119 in Bell County.

Trooper Pruitt attempted to pull the Mustang over, but the driver did not cooperate and fled, and Trooper Pruitt lost sight of the vehicle. The car was quickly located on the side of E W Miracle Road, however there was no sign of the driver.

A call soon came in of a ‘strong arm robbery’ in the same area that the car was found. A woman claimed that a man kicked in her back door and stole her purse and car keys and fled from the scene in the woman’s Chevrolet Impala. This vehicle, too, was found abandoned at an ATV park.

The suspect was identified through a tip called into Kentucky State Police Post 10. The man was identified as Gary J. Mills, 27, of Barbourville. Mills is also connected to three additional vehicle thefts on the night of Dec. 6.

Mills remained at large until Knox County Sheriff’s Department and Kentucky State Trooper Kelley Farris caught up with him two days later in the Woolum community of Knox County. Where police also recovered a stolen Polaris ATV.

Mills was arrested and charged with three counts of fleeing or evading police, first degree wanton endangerment, first degree robbery, theft by unlawful taking or disposition of the value of $500 or more but less than $10,000, two counts of reckless driving, disregarding stop sign, operating an ATV on roadway and receiving stolen property $10,000 or more.

Mill was lodged in the Knox County Detention Center and is currently under a $250,000 cash bond.