Police: Burglary suspect tries to escape on lawnmower with flat tire

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A thief usually comes armed with a high-speed getaway car to leave the scene of the crime, but police said a suspect in Knoxville, Tennessee used a lawnmower for his getaway.

Teresa Johnson lived in her neighborhood for about 13 years. She's seen burglaries, but nothing quite like this.

"He is riding a John Deere riding lawn mower with a flat tire. How stupid is this guy?" Johnson asked while laughing.

Knoxville police said Benny Vaughn broke into Johnson's shed on May 8 to steal the mower; which is worth about $1,800. He then used the John Deere as his getaway car.

Johnson's neighbor trailed the suspect several miles down the street around 4 p.m. while taking pictures. The lawnmower can even be seen with a flat tire.

Police said Vaughn made it a few miles away; which is where they later arrested him. The lawnmower was found nearby in the woods according to a police report.

Johnson said Vaughn was hired to do yard work around their house.

"We thought he was a good friend," she said.

Johnson said Vaughn cut open their shed, causing hundreds of dollars in damage. She said he crawled inside and busted the doors open to get the mower out.

This isn't the first time Johnson said they've been burglarized. She's had to put up security cameras and outdoor lights and said she hopes a neighborhood of crime can come to an end

"I want the neighborhood to change. I want people to live here and not be afraid," she said.

Vaughn also faces a list of crimes from theft to assault, some of them dating back to 1992.