GPD nabs car thief

Published 3:29 pm Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Greenville Police Department arrested a 16-year-old male on Tuesday in connection with a string of automobile thefts dating back to October of 2010.

The Greenville Police Department arrested a 16-year-old male on Tuesday in connection with a string of automobile thefts dating back to October of 2010.

According to Lt. Justin Lovvorn, the juvenile has been charged with five counts of theft of property first degree, a Class B felony.

The GPD has been investigating the case since October when two vehicles were stolen five days apart from the parking lot of a local business.

The GPD got a break in the case on July 23 when the owner of a vehicle that had been reported stolen earlier in the day was spotted on the side of Hwy. 31 near Georgiana. Two black males standing next to the vehicle trying to fill the tank with gas.

“The owner called the Sheriff’s Department, and after being questioned about who the car belonged to the juvenile took off running and was able to get away,” Lovvorn said. “At that point we took over the investigation, and determined that the other male had not been in the car and was not involved in stealing the car. We put the juvenile in a photo lineup and the other male identified him as the one in possession of the vehicle.”

After locating the juvenile, officers were able to match his fingerprints with fingerprints that were found on vehicles that had previously been reported stolen and were later recovered.

“Because he was a juvenile, his prints were not in the system, so he didn’t pop up when we ran the prints we recovered from the cars,” Lovvorn said.

According to Lovvorn, the juvenile may have been selling the cars or having a relative in Bay Minette, Ala., sell the cars. All five cars have been recovered and returned to their owners.

Cpl. Kenneth Hadley assisted in the investigation.