Two men were arrested after an investigation by multiple agencies into a sophisticated auto theft scheme involving a classic 1931 Ford T-Bucket Roadster, a 2007 Corvette and a 1972 Chevrolet truck, among other vehicles.
Detective Jesse Minton with the Tarrant Regional Auto Crimes Task Force, which led the investigation, said detectives also recovered trailers and vehicles reported stolen out of Dallas and Fort Worth. Together, the stolen goods were worth some $150,000, according to a release from the Fort Worth Police Department.
Christopher Day, 47, and Christopher Hammons, 31, were arrested last week in Tarrant County in connection with the three classic cars, which were stolen from Titus County, about 150 miles east of Fort Worth.
The suspects bought the vehicles using a fake identity and fake check in Mount Pleasant and brought them to Tarrant County to sell for cash, Minton said.
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He said the task force was tipped off about the stolen vehicles when a man in Arkansas received the title for the Corvette, which looked odd, and thought it must be too good to be true. The car was sold to him by another person who bought the car for $10,000 online from the suspects.
The truck and Roadster were found in two separate Fort Worth locations.
“Rather than breaking into cars and using screwdrivers and pliers, today’s auto thieves are using stolen identities and computer equipment as the tools of their trade,” the news release said.
Hammons was arrested by the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office Thursday and has bond set at $10,000. He faces a charge of theft over $30,000. According to court records, he lives in Fort Worth.
Day was arrested Tuesday in Haltom City and faces charges for theft between $2,500 and $30,000, theft over $30,000 and forgery. His total bond is $110,000.
Both men were in custody at the Tarrant County Jail.
Investigators with numerous agencies were involved, including the Tarrant task force, the Northeast Texas Automobile Theft Task Force, the Titus, Parker and Tarrant county sheriff’s offices, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Euless, Arlington, Haltom City, Fort Worth and Hurst police departments.