An Oneida man is facing felony theft charges after he allegedly stole a vehicle last month — and took it to the repair shop it was stolen from to have its tires removed from its rims.
Jerry Stevens, 27, was arrested by Oneida Police Department on Friday, charged with theft over $1,000 in connection with the theft of a vehicle that occurred on May 13.
Police say that the owner of Hippie’s Fix-It-All on South Carson Street moved a client’s vehicle from to 1st Street to make room in the garage for another vehicle to be worked on, when it was taken. Believing the vehicle’s owner had retrieved it, the shop’s owner phoned the client to let him know that his key to the pickup truck was still at the shop. That’s when both men realized the vehicle had been stolen.
According to a warrant filed by OPD Investigator Toby Jeffers, Stevens returned to Hippie’s three days later with rims that had been taken from the stolen truck to have the tires removed. That led investigators to the tires, which were allegedly found on a trailer outside a Harmony Lane residence, where the homeowner told Jeffers that Stevens had him haul the tires from the garage to his house.
A week later, Jeffers came into contact with Stevens during a traffic stop, according to the warrant, and Stevens claimed to have purchased the tires from someone out of Kentucky. However, on May 27, OPD Chief Darryl Laxton received a call from a man who discovered the stolen pickup — missing its wheels and tires — in a forested area off of Harold Brooks Drive.
According to the warrant, investigators believe Stevens drove the vehicle to the Harold Brooks Drive location and removed the wheels there.