The 51-year-old Sulphur Springs man accused of stealing a car in Paris also was charged with credit card abuse.
Michael Allen Coker was first arrested Tuesday, after Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper William Gillentine discovered the silver Chevrolet sedan he stopped at 1:40 p.m., just west of Sulphur Springs on Interstate 30, for speeding had been reported stolen in Paris.
When Gillentine asked Coker why the vehicle would be reported stolen, Coker claimed a woman gave it to him to drive the day before, the trooper alleged in arrest reports. When pressed for more details and asked numerous questions, Coker was alleged to provide a vague story.
A Paris Police Department detective contacted Gillentine by phone. The car has reportedly been left running and unattended while the driver went inside a store; when the driver walked back outside, the vehicle was missing, the Paris officer reportedly told Gillentine.
An inventory of the vehicle prior to impound revealed an open can of Angry Orchard hard cider in the console; a credit card with another man’s name on it, a receipt, new set of drill bits and mirrors, and packaging were also found in the front compartment of the car, Gillentine alleged.
The Paris police detective met Gillentine at Hopkins County jail and showed him pictures taken from a video of the area where the vehicle was reported stolen. Coker was reportedly wearing the same clothing as the suspect who was pictured approaching the car in the store parking lot.
Coker was booked into Hopkins County jail for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
The Paris Detective later advised Gillentine that they’d been alerted a man’s credit card had been used at O’Reilly Auto Parts store in Sulphur Springs around 1:30 p.m. May 28. That’s the name on the credit card found in the stolen car, Gillentine reported.
Shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday, Gillentine interviewed the manager and assistant manager at the Gilmer Street auto parts store. The store staff recalled seeing the person who made the purchase. One noted the man who made the purchase with the credit card acted weird, gritting his teeth, in ragged clothing, ‘ like he was high or something’ entered the the store three times. The suspect allegedly tried to trade a gift card for cash, Gillentine alleged in arrest reports.
The other store employee remembered the man because he claimed to be the son of a man who had been his customer for 25 years. He also when asked gave the same number Coker gave the trooper when asked for his contact number, Gillentine noted in arrest reports.
Consequently, Coker was subsequently charged May 29 with credit card abuse for alleged use of the other man’s credit card at O’Reilly the day before.
Coker remained in Hopkins County jail at noon Thursday, May 30. His bond was set at $5,000 on both the unauthorized use of vehicle and credit card abuse charges, according to jail reports.