Tennessee man flees crime scene on stolen John Deere

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — “He is riding a John Deere riding lawn mower with a flat tire. How stupid is this guy?”

Teresa Johnson has seen a lot at her south Knoxville home including burglaries. But in her 13 years there she’s never seen a John Deere getaway.

“And rides it down my yard.”

“There was a trail all the way down, through the ditch — on to the street.”

Her neighbor trailed the accused riding the lawnmower several miles down the street in the middle of the day.
But the man didn’t get far on a flat.

“He road all through Vestal. Goes to 904 Valley and I go up there and there’s the John Deere.”

That’s where police later arrest him. Johnson said the suspect — Benny Vaughn — was hired to do yard work around the house.

“We thought he was a good friend.”

Until now. Police said Vaughn broke into their shed last month to steal the mower — worth about $1,800.

“He cut the door right there, got in, kicked the doors open.”

Causing hundreds more in damage to the shed. Johnson said the lawnmower chase left the John Deere in bad shape.

This wasn’t the first time they’ve been burglarized.

“We all have cameras, we have video, lights, cameras. Everything.”

She wants to see a neighborhood of crime come to an end.

“I want the neighborhood to change. I want people to live here and not be afraid.”