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Monday, February 6, 2017
Trio arrested in theft of three vehicles
A local man and a couple from Pulaski were arrested in connection with a vehicle purchase scam late last week after a Shelbyville resident sought assistance from deputies in retrieving a car he had "sold" them.
The victim came to the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department on Friday to report that he had sold a local man a black and white retired police car, a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria, the previous week.
The purchaser, identified as twenty-one year old Nicholas Cothron of 236 Ovilla Lane, Lawrenceburg, had written the seller a personal check for the amount of $3,000. The victim said that when he took the check to his bank, he learned that there were insufficient funds to cover it.
The victim told deputies that he had spoken with Cothron several times and that he made various excuses about why he was unable to cash the check. He said that they had finally arranged to have Cothron leave the car in the parking lot at Kroger in Lawrenceburg, with the keys inside.
He told deputies that he had just come from the parking lot, but that the car was not there. He said that he again called Cothron and told him that if he did not receive his car, he would file a report with police officers.
The victim told deputies that he was not interested in pressing charges against Cothron so long as he got his car back.
The victim was able to provide deputies with photos from his cell phone of Cothron's driver's license, the blue and silver BMW in which he was traveling, and the temporary tag that was displayed on the BMW.
Deputies texted and called Cothron until they were able to make contact and explained to him that he was potentially facing criminal charges. He told them he had left the car in the parking lot at the Lawrenceburg Walmart store, but that he had the keys in his pocket. He said that at that time he was in Columbia. The deputies told him to meet them at the car in thirty minutes so that they could obtain the keys.
Deputies noted that Cothron arrived, driving a black Ford Mustang. He and the victim exchanged the keys for the bad check Since the victim did not wish to press charge, Cothron was allowed to leave.
It was only a short time later that deputies learned that a BOLO had been issued regarding a blue and silver BMW that had been reported stolen in Rutherford County. They contacted Cothron again and arranged to meet him at Freds in Loretto, indicating that they had failed to have him sign paperwork proving that he had returned the keys. Once they met, they placed Cothron under arrest on a theft warrant that had been issued out of Rutherford County regarding the stolen car.
Cothron told deputies that some friends were in possession of the BMW at that time and was able to provide some information about a house where he had last seen them. Loretto Police officers assisted in the investigation, helping deputies to identify an address. When they arrived, however, they learned that the couple in question had already left.
The woman who was in possession of the BMW called Cothron and informed him that they would leave it in the parking lot at the Pulaski Walmart store. Pulaski Police officers were able to intervene, taking possession of the car and detaining several individuals.
Two of the persons, Kaila Sue Ganshorn, 23, and Trevor Blake Curtis, 20, both of 1529 Cedar Hurst Lane in Pulaski were taken into custody on outstanding warrants. Cothron was transported to the Lawrence County Detention Center to await the arrival of Rutherford County deputies. He was to be transported back to that jurisdiction to await prosecution.
Also during the operation, deputies questioned Cothron about the black Mustang he was driving. They asked whether it was stolen and he told them "technically no." He admitted that he had written a personal check to Brentwood Auto Brokers LLC in Columbia to purchase the vehicle. The check was in the amount of $16,575.89 and he admitted that he did not have the funds in his checking account to cover the purchase.
Deputies later spoke to the woman who had sold Cothron the Mustang, informing her of the situation. She told them that she would file the needed paperwork and obtain security footage showing the purchase to assist in the investigation. Cothron is expected to face charges in Maury County, as well.