Stanley Demario Arnold Jr.
By Joe Johnson
A car thief was arrested in east Athens Monday night when he was found asleep in a stolen car that he had just used in a shoplifting incident.
According to a police report, an officer was on patrol at about 8:20 p.m. in the area of Arch and Gressom streets where he saw an improperly parked car that was wanted in connection with the theft of cigarettes from a Golden Pantry in Winterville.
Asleep at the wheel was 36-year-old Stanley Demario Arnold Jr., with seven cartons of smokes next to him, in plain view on the passenger seat.
When the officer woke up Arnold, he placed him under arrest because there were warrants for his arrest locally and in Jackson County, according to the report, which indicated that when searched, Arnold was found to have a bag of meth and a smoking pipe.
An officer from Winterville arrived on the scene and indicated that Arnold faced felony theft charges for the Golden Pantry incident, the report noted.
It was also learned that the Chevrolet Cruze in which Arnold was found had been reported as having been stolen earlier in the day from behind Mama’s Boy restaurant on Oak Street, where the owner parked it to go walking in Dudley Park nearby, according to the police report.
Arnold explained to the officer that he had driven to the park and after walking around some he accidentally entered the wrong vehicle, and since the Chevy had a push ignition system, he started it up and drove away in it, according to the report.
Arnold, who has a home address at Bethel Midtown Village, was charged with felony theft by taking, felony theft by shoplifting, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a drug object, and was issued two parking tickets.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office placed a hold on Arnold’s release from custody due to an outstanding arrest warrant in its jurisdiction.
The owner of the Chevrolet Cruze took possession of her car at the scene.