An October fire at the home of Lt. James Stone of the Greenfield Fire Department underscored the statewide message to Close the Door to mitigate damage to homes and provide for family safety. A subsequent burglary by neighbors a few weeks later has now shut the door on the possibility the family will return.
A Wednesday morning court appearance in Weakley County General Sessions Court resulted in Betty and Tiffany Callahan of Greenfield waiving their rights to a preliminary hearing. The case was bound over to the Spring term of the Weakley County Grand Jury.
The mother and daughter were charged in November 2018 with aggravated burglary, theft of property over $1,000 and vandalism over $500 at Stone’s residence. They have a court appearance in Weakley County Circuit Court May 14.
Stone, in an interview with The Press Wednesday morning after the Callahan’s court appearances, said the act by neighbors has made him rethink his desire to rebuild and that he and wife Jennifer are now looking to purchase a home in Martin where she works with the Northwest Tennessee Human Resource Agency.
The Stones discovered the theft when they returned to their severely-fire-damaged home after Thanksgiving to prepare for a property adjustor’s visit. When they entered, they smelled smoke which, Stone knew, meant that something had been stirred in the home which had been secured after the fire. Soon he discovered a broken window and the home had been “ransacked with clothes everywhere.”
Further investigation led them to identify several items that were missing.
With the assistance of a camera that his father-in-law had suggested installing while the Stones were living in an apartment in Martin, they discovered footage of the mother-daughter duo crossing the lawn with bags of items.
“I love my family’s house but we are now looking at a house in Martin,” he said, adding that he and Greenfield Fire Chief Bob Dudley had already discussed his continuing in his role with the department there. “We will just need to make new memories in a new home.”
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