Police warn of auto theft ring in Franklin County - KMOV.com

Police warn of auto theft ring in Franklin County

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Brian Jones and Jerry Courtway have been arrested for allegedly stealing a tow truck outside a Franklin County business. Police believe they are part of a larger car theft ring. Brian Jones and Jerry Courtway have been arrested for allegedly stealing a tow truck outside a Franklin County business. Police believe they are part of a larger car theft ring.
FRANKLIN COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Police said an organized theft ring is targeting cars parked outside businesses in Franklin County.

Franklin County authorities said more than 12 cars have been reported in various jurisdictions throughout the county. Most were stolen from used car lots and other businesses before being abandoned.

One such example occurred at the St. Clair Storage Center, where police believe thieves stole a tow truck and then drove through a fence in an effort to getaway. Business owner Jeff Vogel said he received a call about the theft late at night.

“I was like ‘I can't believe they stole my truck.' Never had that happen. We've been in business for almost 30 years,” Vogel said.

Police said they later found the truck. Brian Jones and Jeff Courtway have been arrested in connection with the theft. Authorities believe at least three people are stealing the cars.

“We believe there's a solid three to four suspects that are actually stealing the cars, but there's more suspects that are aiding them,” said Det. James Briggs with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.

Briggs said authorities believe the cars are being used to transport drugs.

“One vehicle was driven into the river, it was totally submerged. Another one was set on fire,” Briggs said. “We're pretty much thinking they're using them for the transport of narcotics.”

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