New Yorker alleged as Town jewelry store burglar

A man who was seen on surveillance footage breaking into a Turkey Creek jewelry store and his alleged after-the-fact accomplice were arrested in Jefferson County Saturday, July 17, following a traffic stop.

Joel Nathaniel Whitman, 30, and Tyler Anthony Donovan, 22, both of whom gave New York state addresses, were arrested along Interstate 81 by Jefferson County Sheriffs Office deputies several hours after a break-in had been reported at BW James Jewelers, 11623 Parkside Drive.

According to security cameras, the break-in occurred around 6:40 a.m., and Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded shortly thereafter.

A suspect, later identified as Whitman according to KCSO, was shown breaking into the business wearing a black hoodie-style shirt, taking an unspecified amount of jewelry and exiting the building at 6:48 a.m.

Security cameras also confirmed a black Toyota RAV 4, which KCSO later identified as being driven by Donovan, had dropped off Whitman and picked him up from the scene.

Blood was found inside the business, leading officers to believe the suspect had been injured, and according to the police report area hospitals were contacted during the investigation.

When the suspects were pulled over by Jefferson County officials, they were found to have nearly $40,000 worth of stolen property — primarily high-end jewelry, according to the report.

Officers also found the hoodie worn by the subject in the surveillance tape, which was covered in blood, the report further stated.

Initially, Donovan gave a false name and date of birth, but ultimately confessed he was the driver of the RAV-4 that had dropped off Whitman at BW James Jewelers. The report listed more than a dozen pieces of jewelry — including rings, watches and necklaces— as recovered, with a value of $37,443 pending identification of more items.

Whitman was charged with burglary and forced entry of a non-residence, while Donovan was charged with accessory after the fact.

No bond amount was listed on the reports, and as of Monday, July 26, neither arrestee was listed among the inmate population in the Knox County Detention Center.