Police recovered a stolen vehicle in Whitley County Thursday afternoon after it ran out of gas along I-75, and have arrested two Tennessee residents in connection with the case.
About 2 p.m., Kentucky State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer Keegan Bray responded to the 18-mile marker to recover a possible stolen vehicle that was located by a Kentucky Safe Patrol employee.
A National Crime Information Center (NCIC) check revealed that the silver 2007 Kia Optima was entered as stolen out of Ohio, according to arrest citations.
Two white males, who were listed as suspects by NCIC, were located walking down the road in close proximity to the vehicle, arrest citations indicated.
Bray and KSP Trooper Dwayne Foley made contact with Tracey B. Thomas, 30, of Bloomington Springs, and Nathan C. Mabery, 29, of Gainsboro, who was carrying a jug containing gas and advised police they had run out of gas.
Thomas told police he was a passenger in the vehicle, and Mabery told police he was the driver.
Both subjects were advised of their constitutional rights and gave written statements as to why they were in the vehicle, according to Mabery’s arrest citation.
Bray arrested Mabery and Thomas about 3:24 p.m. and charged them with receiving stolen property under $10,000.
Both were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center, and pleaded not guilty to their charges during their arraignments Monday afternoon in Whitley District Court.
Judge Cathy Prewitt scheduled preliminary hearings in their cases on March 20, and appointed the public advocate’s office to represent Thomas.
“I’d like to represent myself,” Mabery told Prewitt when she asked if he wanted to see if he qualified for a court appointed attorney.
Prewitt left both their bonds the same at $7,500 cash, but said the court would be willing to look at the issue of bond again at next week’s hearing.