UPDATE: 1 more arrest made in multi-county motor vehicle theft ring

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Friday, March 22, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- News 12 has learned officials have made another arrest in a multi-county vehicle theft ring.

Vernon Neely Sr., 66, is now behind bars.

Neely was wanted on three felony counts of theft by receiving stolen property and three felony counts of theft by deception.

Monday, March 18, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A joint county investigation has discovered a possible chop shop operating in Augusta, leading investigators to bust a multi-county interstate motor vehicle theft ring.

The Sheriff's Offices for Richmond and Columbia counties have found that Global Auto Traders on Belair Road did not have a valid business license.

Investigators say four people employed at Global Auto Traders were using an unmarked tow truck to steal vehicles disabled on the side of I-20 and roads in the CSRA and transporting them to recycling and salvage yards for money.

Vernon Neely Jr. has been arrested and charged with a felony count of theft by taking.

Elmer Gilman was arrested and is charged with felony count of theft by taking, a count of theft by receiving stolen property, a felony count of possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor count of theft by taking.

Joseph Clayton Thaxton was arrested on Monday at a home on Green Road. He is charged with one felony count of theft by receiving stolen property and one felony count of theft by deception.

Officials are still looking for Vernon Neely Sr. Neely is wanted on three felony counts of theft by receiving stolen property and three felony counts of theft by deception.

At least seven stolen vehicles have been involved, dating back to January 2012:

  • Jan. 13, 2012: 1998 Ford F150 on I-20 eastbound at mile marker 126 in Madison County, Ga.
  • April 4, 2012: 1968 Ford Galaxy disabled in front of 3571 Jonathan Circle
  • April 20, 2012: 1999 Honda Accord on I-520 at Peach Orchard Road
  • Nov. 23, 2012: 1995 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight on I-20 and Wire Road in Aiken, S.C.
  • Nov. 26, 2012: 1992 Toyota Camry on I-20 and mile marker 37 in Aiken, S.C.
  • Dec. 15, 2012: 1996 Lincoln Continental at 2447 Juniper Drive in Augusta, Ga.
  • Jan. 13, 2013: 1985 Ford F150 at Willis Forman Road and Deans Bridge Road in Augusta, Ga.


Joseph Clayton Thaxton
Joseph Clayton Thaxton



 
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