Deputies use bait car to catch alleged thieves - FOX Carolina 21

Deputies use bait car to catch alleged thieves

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Jerry Burnett (left) and Michael Pitts. (Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office) Jerry Burnett (left) and Michael Pitts. (Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office)
The tow truck deputies say the men used to steal the parked cars. (Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office) The tow truck deputies say the men used to steal the parked cars. (Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Deputies said they used a "bait" car with GPS tracker to catch whoever has been stealing cars left along Upstate interstates.

Spartanburg County investigators said they have noticed a trend in vehicles stolen from along Interstates 85 and 26.

Deputies placed a black Honda Accord owned by the sheriff's office near exit 77 on I-85 southbound about noon on Oct. 10 and placed a tracking device that sends text message and email alerts when it is moved.

On Saturday, deputies said they received an alert at 8:20 a.m. that the car was moving so they tracked it and were able to catch up with a red wrecker towing the car. Deputies said they pulled the tow truck over along I-26 eastbound a mile from Reidville Road.

Deputies detained the driver and his passenger and took them to the sheriff's office for questioning. The sheriff's office report said the tow truck company was Burnett and Sons Towing and Recovery.

Deputies first spoke with the passenger, 41-year-old Jerry Burnett, who told them they first spotted the car a couple of days earlier, the report said. Deputies asked him how many other cars they had stolen the same way, and Burnett told him two others but then refused to talk anymore, the report said.

The driver of the tow truck, 55-year-old Michael Pitts, told deputies someone called him to pick it up then refused to write a statement documenting that.

Both Burnett and Pitts were charged with grand larceny greater than $2,000 but less than $5,000, possession of scheduled II controlled substance with the intent to distribute, after deputies said they found 18 pills of dextroamphetamine on the drivers-side floor board.

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