A Monroeville man remains in custody at the Erie County Jail in connection with stealing a sports car a vehicle he said he believed was a rental.
Ronal Preece, 56, of 50 Manchester St., must post a $50,000 bond before being released from jail, where he has been since Tuesday, a corrections officer said. Preece is charged with theft of a motor vehicle
A Castalia woman reported her husband's 1982 "show quality" Ford Mustang was missing Tuesday afternoon from the rear of her Ohio 101 property by a barn where Preece's blue Dodge Ram pickup truck was parked, Erie County Sheriff's Capt. Paul Sigsworth said. The keys to the Mustang, which had no gasoline, were in the center console prior to its disappearance.
Deputy Donald Danielle found Preece's truck with its keys still in the ignition near where the Mustang had been parked. The victim's home is located next to a body shop.
The victim's mother-in-law, who lives at the front of the property, said she saw someone, believed to be Preece, drive into the residence before the Mustang was taken.
Authorities traced the truck's license plates to the Preece family and then went to their Monroeville home where they questioned him.
Preece told police his truck "was at the shop getting some body work done on it," Danielle wrote in his report.
"Ronal could not provide me with the name of the shop, only that he was told to drop it off and take the rental car which was inside," Danielle continued. Employees at the next-door business said they didn't know anyone named Preece and "they did not have anything matching that (truck's) description lined up to have work done," he wrote.
Authorities arranged to have the Mustang, which was found in Preece's driveway, returned to the victim and had the suspect's truck towed.