Alleged Car Thief Served With 10 Additional Debit Card Abuse Warrants

Michael Allen Coker

A 51-year-old Sulphur Springs man arrested May 28 in a stolen car with another man’s debit card was served Thursday afternoon, July 11, with 10 additional debit card abuse warrants for offenses alleged to have occurred on May 28, according to arrest reports.

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. May 28, 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.

Gillentine was later notified by the victim that someone had attempted to use his debit card twice to withdraw $100 at the ATM inside a Walmart at 3:51 and 3:53 a.m. May 28, about 10 hours before the trooper first contacted him. Store surveillance showed the suspect to be wearing the same clothing Coker had on at the time of his arrest; thus, the trooper filed two cases and warrants were issued for two additional counts of debit card abuse, the trooper alleged in arrest reports June 12.

The trooper was also alerted someone attempted to use the victim’s card at shortly after 7 a.m. May 28 at a Super Handy store. Surveillance allegedly showed Coker wearing the same clothing as when arrested face the gas pump, and attempt to use the other man’s debit card, Gillentine alleged in the June 12 arrest reports. The victim was reported to be at work in Paris at the time of the alleged offense, and denied granting the man permission to use it. Thus, a third charge for debit card abuse was filed and a warrant issued.

Gillentine served Coker with the three of the debit card abuse warrants stemming from the attempts at Walmart and the gas station at 11:35 a.m. June 12 at the county jail, according to arrest reports.

The man who’s debit card was alleged to have been used by Coker also allegedly reported being contacted by the bank that someone had attempted to use his debit card 10 times at a Mockingbird Lane E-Z Mart store at about 4:29 a.m. May 28. The trooper alleged on June 18 he viewed the store security camera footage for that time frame. The store was closed but gas pumps were open; a four-door vehicle arrived at the pump at 4:21 a.m. The driver got out then re-entered the car and left the pumps at 4;34 a.m. May 28, the video showed, the trooper alleged in the July 11 report.

Also reportedly visible as a rear tire that was different than the others on the car; the trooper contacted the man who’s car and card had been stolen. He alleged the car doughnut wheel was on it when it was stolen and still on it when he recovered it from the tow yard, the trooper alleged in arrest reports.

A Walmart employee also allegedly reported seeing the suspect driving the stolen car in the store parking lot at 3:53 a.m. May 28. Video from another gas station showed the suspected driving the same car at about 7 p.m. May 28, according to the July arrest report.

Ten additional debit card abuse warrants were sought, obtained and added to Coker’s list of charges on July 11, according to arrest reports.

Coker has remained in the county jail since his arrest May 28. Bond was set at $5,000 each on at least 14 debit card abuse charges, $5,000 on the unauthorized use of a vehicle charge, $4,000 on a Lamar County theft charge and $20,000 on a Lindale unauthorized use of vehicle charge, according to jail reports.

Author: Faith Huffman

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