Accused comic book thief arrested in Sumner County

Jimmy Lee Gunter (Courtesy: Sumner County Sheriff's Office)

PORTLAND, Tenn. (WKRN) – Police in Portland, Tennessee, busted a major theft ring this week, and the department is crediting a News 2 viewer for the tip that cracked the case.

Last week, we reported about thousands of comic books being stolen from a man’s storage unit at All About Storage.

Ronald Foster said his collectibles amounted to well over $250,000 and he’s been collecting for at least the past eight years of his life.

(Photo: WKRN)

According to Chief Anthony Heavner, a News 2 viewer saw our story after buying comic books from a man and notified police.

That man was later identified as Jimmy Gunter, who has a long criminal history.

It all came together Tuesday when the 48-year-old got into a wreck with a white SUV police say he purchased with money made from selling the stolen comic books.

When detectives searched the SUV, they reportedly found thousands of comic books that belonged to Foster. They also seized valuable coins and found burglary tools.

Portland police told News 2 they also found a lock, which they say Gunter pried right off a storage building.

(Courtesy: Portland Police Department)

Officers also raided a trailer Wednesday afternoon, finding boxes with thousands of comic books and sports cards that were taken during the burglary of Foster’s unit.

“I’m real excited,” said Det. Joey Rush. “Got some thieves off the street.”

Gunter was booked into the Sumner County jail on burglary and theft charges.

Meanwhile, detectives travelled to Kentucky and joined police there to search another storage building where they found items police say were most certainly stolen.

Police are now looking for a woman in connection to the theft ring. She’s been identified as Emily Skipworth. See her photo below this story.

Detectives told News 2 the 34-year-old had been selling the stolen comic books they recovered.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Portland Police Department at Portland police at 615-325-3434.

Emily Skipworth (Courtesy: Portland Police Department)