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Person Of Interest Named In Bartlesville, BA, Ft. Smith Dealership Thefts

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Brandon Jones is being held in connection with a theft case in Fayetteville four years ago, but investigators also want to talk with him about the tire thefts in Fort Smith earlier this month. Brandon Jones is being held in connection with a theft case in Fayetteville four years ago, but investigators also want to talk with him about the tire thefts in Fort Smith earlier this month.
Police said the white van used in the Fort Smith thefts was stolen. Fake license plates on that stolen van led investigators to Jones. Police said the white van used in the Fort Smith thefts was stolen. Fake license plates on that stolen van led investigators to Jones.
Three dealerships were hit in one week. The common link, the thieves strike after midnight and jack up the cars or trucks to get the wheels. Three dealerships were hit in one week. The common link, the thieves strike after midnight and jack up the cars or trucks to get the wheels.
FORT SMITH, Arkansas -

Fort Smith police identified a person of interest in car dealership thefts Friday night similar to ones that have happened in Broken Arrow and Bartlesville this week where someone stole wheels off vehicle on the dealers' lots.

The person of interest is in U.S. Marshal’s custody. Brandon Jones is being held in connection with a theft case in Fayetteville four years ago, but investigators also want to talk with him about the tire thefts in Fort Smith earlier this month.

7/25/2014 Related Story: Police Investigate Truck Wheel Thefts At Bartlesville, Broken Arrow, Ft. Smith Dealerships

That case is similar to the ones in Oklahoma, but Bartlesville Police Chief, Thomas Holland, believes it’s taking more than one person to do the job.

Three dealerships were hit in one week. The common link, the thieves strike after midnight and jack up the cars or trucks to get the wheels. By morning, dealers find brand new cars on cinder blocks.

"I mean you don't just steal that many and set up on a corner and say ‘I've got tires for sale.’ Clearly this is a well-established gang of thieves that pulled this off," Holland said.

From Fort Smith Arkansas to Broken Arrow to Bartlesville, the brazen burglars stole wheels from dealerships even when the parking lots were well lit and cameras were rolling.

Police are piecing together clues using security footage from the dealership in Broken Arrow. The Bartlesville dealership didn't have surveillance cameras but the chief said good police work could crack the case.

“So our detectives fanned out and scoured the potential videos on highway 75 where this business is located and they did find a U-Haul truck that made two or three passes by a camera. It's kind of blurry," said Holland.

Detectives are working with U-Haul to determine if it was the getaway truck the thieves used to steal $40,000 worth of rims and tires.

Fort Smith police said thieves hit a GMC dealership there on July 13th. They took five sets of wheels and tires valued at $25,000. That dealership also had surveillance cameras and police think a white van was their getaway vehicle.

Bartlesville Police think it might be a break.

"We will be talking to some of those folks, maybe going down there with some of our detectives to look at it," said Holland.

Police hope people in Broken Arrow, Bartlesville and Fort Smith were watching.

"Someone may have seen something and not realized they saw something,” said Holland.

Police said the white van used in the Fort Smith thefts was stolen. Fake license plates on that stolen van led investigators to Jones.

A U.S. Marshal task force arrested Jones in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is currently awaiting extradition back to Arkansas. 

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