Thief who may have preyed on gays arrested in Chattanooga


The man who may have been targeting gay men and stealing their cars has been arrested by Chattanooga Police.

James Anthony Hitchcock has been arrested and charged with possession of stolen property.

Hitchcock, 36, was still in possession of a stolen 2003 Nissan Altima that he took from a 38-year-old Nashville victim, who met the suspect at an East Nashville bar, and invited him to his house on the evening of Thursday, June 1. When the victim woke up the next morning, he found the suspect had left and his vehicle was gone.

Hitchcock had left another vehicle at the victim’s house—a 2001 Monte Carlo—that had been stolen from a male victim in Sevierville, Tennessee. A third vehicle that he may have stolen in Kentucky has not yet been recovered.

Chattanooga Police also found him in possession of credit cards and other items he may have stolen from his victims.

“He was arrested on the night of June 11 by Chattanooga Police,” said Metro Police Detective Billy Estes.

Estes said Hitchcock will be charged by Sevierville authorities for the theft that occurred in Sevierville. He wasn’t sure if Davidson County will charge him and was in the process of checking with the District Attorney’s office.

“We may also charge him with theft here,” Estes said. “We don’t yet. We’re working with the District Attorney’s office.”

“He apparently hits gay bars,” the Nashville victim said. “He tells a big sob story about him and his son, and says he doesn’t have a place to stay. He then robs you.”