investigation

Conway detectives are reviewing a Mississippi man’s phone records as they continue investigating a vehicle theft that reportedly occurred at the Superior Chevrolet dealership last month.

Online records show that detective Joshua Fulbright on Tuesday completed a search warrant on the suspect’s cell phone. The detective requested a district judge’s OK to collect the suspect’s phone records in order to review the Mississippi man’s historical location information, text messages and other data in an effort to gather evidence in the vehicle theft case.

Authorities were alerted Dec. 5 that black 2015 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was stolen off the Superior Chevrolet lot.

Employees believe a man who introduced himself as “James” and test drove the vehicle in question the day before is responsible for the theft, according to an incident report.

After realizing the vehicle was missing, a manager noted the spare key had been swapped with “a fake one.” Employees believe the suspect swapped the keys during the test drive.

Video surveillance of the theft also suggested the suspect had a key to the vehicle, according to the search warrant request.

“Although it is dark, you can see a subject walking across the lot to where the Camaro is parked, he is able to unlock it without an alarm going off and he is then able to start the vehicle and drive away, suggesting he has a key to the vehicle,” the search warrant affidavit reads in part.

One of the employees recognized the suspect, adding that Michael Talley was also a customer at the Gwatney Chevrolet dealership in Jacksonville, according to the report.

During his investigation, Fulbright learned Talley “had been losing for a blower for his Camaro just one day prior to the theft and that the Camera stolen from Superior had a blower,” according to the search warrant request.

The suspect’s Facebook account also indicated he was “selling racing parts off his racing Camaro and restoring it to stock” so that he could sell the vehicle and instead buy a Corvette.

By reviewing Talley’s phone records, Fulbright said he believes he can gather evidence associated with the theft.

“Based on my training and experience, I believe that cell phone locations for Mr. Talley’s phone will show him at the dealership on the night of the theft as well as at the dealership on the date of the test drive,” the search warrant request reads. “The records will also show where Mr. Talley traveled to following the theft, which may lead us to the vehicle or to parts that can be associated with the vehicle.”

The stolen vehicle was valued at $38,615, according to an incident report.

Online records show that Fulbright requested Verizon Wireless provide data from Talley’s phone records beginning a midnight Dec. 1 through midnight Dec. 19.

Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached at mhicks@thecabin.net.

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