Auto theft ring uncovered in Franklin County

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – Franklin County sheriff's investigators say they've uncovered a major auto theft ring that spans across more than 50 miles and 4 cities including Union and St. Clair. The crimes were strange because thieves specifically targeted trucks and put those trucks to use. Detective James Briggs says he’s been working the case for two months, he also says leads, forensics and cooperation between departments helped crack the case. A total of 14 vehicles were taken with some of them burned and dumped in remote parts of the county.

'What were looking at is the vehicles that were stolen from several different areas around the county mainly used car lots and auto repair shops. The trucks were used for transport of narcotics and we also uncovered an illegal logging operation. Ignitions were damaged beyond repair and steering columns were ripped off the vehicles.

The ring is also linked to a stolen tow truck out of St. Clair. FOX 2 reported on the theft last week.  Now police are looking for 34-year-old Brian Jones and 44-year-old Jerry Courtway, both charged with theft and damage to property. The duo and can also face more charges down the line.

Police also say 3 others could be involved.

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