WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) - The Wichita Falls Police Department said they arrested a man early Friday morning after they saw him steal a vehicle worth nearly $60,000 from a Patterson dealership.
Police arrested Matthew Gregory, 30, after he drove the vehicle out of the lot.
Officers said they set up surveillance on the lot at around 9 p.m. Thursday after several recent reports of stolen vehicles. At about 9:30 p.m., a man, later identified as Gregory, approached the lot and began walking past it several times. Police said the man matched the description of a man who had allegedly dumped a stolen car at a nearby fast food restaurant.
Gregory walked into the lot briefly before leaving and walking down the street. Police said he turned around and walked past the lot several more times before leaving the area.
Just before 1:30 a.m. Friday, Gregory returned to the area and began checking key boxes on vehicles in the dealership lot. Gregory left the area again but quickly returned. Officers said they began to hear banging noises before a vehicle was turned on and driven out of the lot. Police said they could see Gregory in the drivers seat.
Officers followed Gregory and stopped him at Broad St. and Kell Blvd. They found him with a second, unopened key box in his pocket. They arrested him and took him to jail without incident, where he was charged with Theft over $30,000 of a Stolen Vehicle.
When Gregory was being booked into the Wichita County Jail, officers said he became irate and began threatening to kill officers and jail personnel. Because of his threats, he was also charged with Obstruction/Retaliation.
The vehicle he stole was valued at just under $60,000.