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Suspects charged in car thefts

Three suspected car thieves found themselves facing police officers in the midst of an investigation when they returned Monday to claim their stolen cars.

Three of five suspects charged with stealing vehicles from a Coffee County used car dealership apparently were returning to pick up the stolen vehicles when they interrupted police investigators at work.

"They turned the corner and lo and behold, the cars were there but there were also police cars ," said Sgt. Benny Scarbrough, public information officer for the Troy Police Department "They had a whole bunch of cars back there."

According to information released by Chief Anthony Everage, the burglary apparently occurred sometime late Sunday night or early Monday morning. Troy Police became involved at approximately 5:30 a.m. Monday, when a patrol officer spotted two vehicles parked behind an abandoned shopping center on U.S. 231 in Troy, commonly referred to as the old Wal-Mart location.

"The vehicles had Car City license tags," Scarbrough said. A quick check led the patrol officer to call detectives, who "had come out to process the vehicles, lift fingerprints and such.

"The detective was there working when two vehicles came behind the building and three of the suspects were in those two cars," he added.

A third stolen vehicle was later located in the parking lot at Green Tree Apartments, Scarbrough said. Three Troy men and two juveniles have been charged and a fourth suspect was being questioned, Scarbrough said.

David Williams Jr., 23,; Timothy Degenette, 21,; and Derrick Arnold, 23, all of Troy, were being held in the Coffee County Jail late Tuesday. Degenette and Williams were charged with theft of property first degree and burglary, third degree. Both men were being held on $25,000 bond. Arnold was charged with burglary third degree and held on a $10,000 bond. The names of the juveniles ­ ages 13 and 17 – were not released.

The Car City lot is located on U.S. 231 south of Brundidge, just over the Coffee County line. The vehicles stolen included a 1991 Cadillac Seville; a green Ford Explorer; and a black Mitsubishi Diamante. Also taken in the burglary were two safes, approximately $30 in change; a money drawer; a VCR; and a radio, Scarbrough said.