THIEF'S MAMA BLOWS THE WHISTLE

Hank Williams Jr. is not likely to roll out the welcome wagon for his new neighbor. On Jan. 19, Hank and his children were sleeping in their Paris, Tenn.-area home, when Ryan Daniel Binkley, 22, a new neighbor who lived half a mile away, walked into the Williams abode and stole a 60-pound safe containing jewelry worth more than $500,000. The alarm system was not on that night, so Binkley entered and left unnoticed.

Binkley was already wanted by authorities in the nearby city of Dyersburg, Tenn. on charges related to a drug case. According to The Tennessean, when bounty hunters turned him over to Dyersburg police, Binkley called his mother and told her to go to his cabin and sell some of his jewelry to pay for his defense lawyer.

But when she saw the amount of jewelry, which included a CMA Awards ring with Hank Jr.'s name inscribed on it, Binkley's mother became suspicious and told a friend, who called Henry County authorities. Police recovered all the stolen jewels and even the safe, returning everything to Hank Jr. Hank's manager, Merle Kilgore, said Binkley's mother may have saved her son's life by turning him in.

"The real miracle is that Hank Jr. didn't shoot that kid," said Merle. "Hank is an excellent shot and is surrounded by guns."

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