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Hendersonville police ask for private DNA testing in carjacking cases

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Mickey Miller

Both Police Chief Mickey Miller and Mayor Jamie Clary say the city is taking extra steps to catch those responsible for two car-jackings in Hendersonville in less than 24 hours this week.

Miller's been given the go-ahead by Clary to submit DNA samples collected in the two separate incidents to a private company for processing rather than to the TBI Crime Lab, which is normal protocol.

Miller said the process could take up to a year going through the TBI lab, depending on how much evidence is collected. He hopes to have the results back from a private company within two weeks.

"We have a lot of evidence we've collected," said Miller. "The more samples, the longer it takes."

Clary sent an email on Friday to the city's 12 aldermen telling them he has approved Miller's request to spend up to $40,000 for the DNA processing.

Miller said the money was already in the police department's 2016-17 budget, and that he moved it from another line item that had not yet been spent.

Hendersonville police were called to a home on Heron's Nest Lane at around 3 a.m. June 6 by residents who said their neighbor had been carjacked. The victim told police that a black male threatened her with a weapon and stole her car. She also said that there were two other black males present.

Just after midnight on June 7, police received a report of a carjacking on Chipwood Drive. A male victim told police that four black male suspects - at least one believed to have a gun - robbed him of his vehicle and phone.

The vehicle was reportedly spotted in the Whites Creek Pike area of Nashville just after 3 a.m., according to police.

Police believe the two crimes are related, according to Miller.

The police chief, who spent more than two decades as a detective for the Metro Nashville Police Department, said his department has made a lot of headway on solving the crimes in the last two days, and hopes speeding up the DNA process will help solve them quicker.

"These guys are pretty dangerous and we don't want anybody to get hurt," he said.

Miller said it's unusual for the city to have two car-jackings within a day of one another.

Nine robberies were reported in all of 2016 in the city, according to the TBI's Crime in Tennessee Report. Clary said he's confident police will solve the crimes soon.

"I want to catch these criminals and let other criminals know that Hendersonville police will go to extraordinary lengths to catch them and prosecute them," added the mayor.

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