Truck heist leads to 7 years in jail
Tracked down after using stolen credit card
Hours after the truck went missing, Donnell Miner, 32, was caught on camera using a credit card left inside the vehicle at a Waffle House in New Orleans. In surveillance pictures released by the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, Miner is seen looking at his cell phone while waiting for his order. He then faces the camera, carrying a bag of food and two drinks.
When police tracked Miner to his home in the Desire Housing Projects in New Orleans, they say they found the truck stolen from St. Rose in addition to a truck stolen from the parish a few weeks before.
Several Chevrolet and GMC trucks were stolen from St. Charles Parish in March. Sheriff Greg Champagne said that the theft of similar trucks has been on the rise in the New Orleans Metro area since the beginning of the year.
Miner was arrested and charged with two counts of theft of a motor vehicle and the unauthorized use of an access card. Miner pled guilty last week to one count of the theft of a motor vehicle and received a seven-year jail sentence. The other charges were dismissed.
Champagne said that there is a vibrant black market for used vehicle parts and engines. Even the scrap metal from the stolen vehicles is being crushed.
“These thieves know what they are doing and in many cases are able to get into a car, start it without the keys and drive off in mere minutes,” he said.
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