GALLIPOLIS — A Gallia County man charged with stealing a vehicle from a local car dealership last year was recently sentenced in the Common Pleas Court of Gallia County.
Jason B. Holcomb-French, 29, Gallipolis, was sentenced last Friday to serve six months in a state prison after pleading guilty to a fourth-degree felony theft charge.
The indictment in this case, filed on September 13, 2012, states that on August 30, 2012, the defendant, through deception, stole a 2008 Lincoln MKX from Gallia Auto Sales.
An investigation into this case began after an employee with Gallia Auto Sales, located on Jackson Pike, contacted the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office to report a stolen vehicle.
According to the police report, the employee advised that on August 30, the dealership had sold the 2008 Lincoln to Holcomb-French after receiving a fax from a “Jack R. Davidson” of Peoples Bank — a fax which reportedly stated that the defendant had been approved for a loan for the vehicle and, upon the receipt of the title, Peoples Bank would issue a bank check.
The employee reported that Holcomb-French was given the keys and the title to the vehicle and later left the dealership with the car.
According to the report, it was not until September 4 that the fax was found to be a fraud. Peoples Bank reportedly advised Gallia Auto Sales that they did not have a “Jack R. Davidson” employed at their agency nor did they have a loan approved for Holcomb-French.
The vehicle was later found by a deputy on September 5 parked at the intersection of Grape Street and Third Avenue in Gallipolis, and, after the defendant was contacted and arrived on scene, he was arrested and transported to the Gallia County Jail without incident.
The vehicle was towed from the scene and transported to the car lot.
On September 17, the defendant was arraigned in the common pleas court and pleaded not guilty to a charge of theft.
Holcomb-French was later released on an own recognizance bond.
On November 28 of last year, the defendant failed to appear for a pre-trial settlement conference in this case, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Following his arrested on January 6, the defendant appeared for a hearing in the common pleas court. His bond was continued and he was released to Athens County in reference to similar charges in that county.
On February 15, the defendant appeared for sentencing in this case.
After pleading guilty to theft, a six month sentence was handed down against Holcomb-French, a sentence ordered to be served concurrently with a sentence in Athens County.
The defendant was given credit for 72 days served and was ordered to pay $165 in restitution to Gallia Auto Sales and to have no contact with the car dealership.
According to the Athens County Clerk of Courts’ online docket, Holcomb-French pleaded guilty in the Athens County Common Pleas Court on January 22 to grand theft auto and two counts of forgery.
On January 29, the defendant was sentenced to one year in the state penal system for each count in this case — sentences ordered to run consecutive with each for a total term of three years.
Holcomb-French was given credit in Athens County for a total of 20 days jail time served.