Kingsport prowler allegedly steals car

Rain Smith • Jan 9, 2019 at 11:18 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — Police say they have arrested a Bluff City woman who was rummaging through vehicles in a Kingsport neighborhood, then found a set of keys in one automobile and drove away. 

Mandy Nicole Simerly, 38, was apprehended Wednesday morning on Fort Henry Drive. According to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, at about 6:20 a.m. dispatch was alerted to a suspicious woman on nearby Grimes Circle.

The caller stated a woman was rifling through neighbors’ vehicles. While still on the phone, the resident advised that the suspect had just left in one of the vehicles. Police say the theft victim had left the keys in the automobile. 

Responding officers spotted the stolen vehicle on Fort Henry Drive and conducted a stop at the McDonald’s in Colonial Heights. Simerly was found behind the wheel and reportedly refused to exit the vehicle, forcing officers to remove her. That led to the vehicle, which was out of gear, rolling backward and striking an SCSO cruiser, causing minimal damage.

Simerly, who police believe was intoxicated, was transported to the hospital rather than immediately to the Sullivan County jail. She will later be booked on charges of motor vehicle theft and DUI.

For taking unspecified items from other vehicles in the neighborhood, she is also charged with two counts of theft under $1,000 and vandalism.

The SCSO urges any other area residents who discover that items are missing to call and make a report.