MOUNT PLEASANT, TX (KLTV) - A car theft ring in Tarrant County was busted this week after investigators said the suspects stole three classic cars from an East Texas man.
It all began to unravel when Christopher Hammons, 32, and Christopher Scott Day, 47, saw an online ad for a 2007 Corvette for sale in Mount Pleasant, according to Detective Jesse Minton with the Tarrant Regional Auto Crimes Task Force.
The victim agreed to sell the car, and deposited the check at his bank. When it cleared, the victim agreed to sell the men two more vehicles: A 1931 Ford T-Bucket Roadster and a 1972 Chevrolet truck. Investigators said the vehicles were brought back to Tarrant County and sold for cash.
They passed the Mount Pleasant man about $66,000 in bad checks, Minton said.
"The bank has the power to pull that money back, so they did, and so he's out money and cars," he said.
But Minton said the victim got a little help when someone decided to do "the right thing."
The stolen Corvette ended up at the home of an Arkansas man whom Minton said realized the title, "didn't look right."
"They [criminals] will tend to clean off the actual writing on the title and type in a different vin number so they can pass along a clean title," Minton said.
The man arranged to bring the vehicle back to Texas and return it to the seller. That's when the Tarrant Regional Auto Crimes Task Force was contacted, Minton said.
Investigators quickly connected Day and Hammons to multiple stolen vehicles and trailers, including those three classic cars belonging to the man in Mount Pleasant.
"We were lucky to get this really quick thanks to someone contacting law enforcement when they found something was wrong," Minton said.
As for the Mount Pleasant man whose case started the investigation?
"We are getting his Corvette back to him," Minton said.
Christopher Scott Day was arrested in Haltom City. He is charged with theft between $2,500 to $30,000, forgery and theft between $30,000 and $300,000. Day is being held in the Tarrant County Correction Center on $110,000 in bonds.
Christopher Hammons was arrested March 23. He is charged with theft of property valued over $30,000 but under $300,000, Hammons is being held in the Tarrant County Correction Center on a $10,000 bond.
In addition to the Tarrant task force, investigators with the Northeast Texas Automobile Theft Task Force, Euless, Arlington, Haltom City, Fort Worth and Hurst police departments, Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Titus, Parker and Tarrant county sheriff's offices were involved.