On Saturday November 19, 2009, Woodbury Police Department Sergeant Kevin Mooneyham was dispatched to Marlin Motors on West Main Street in reference to a stolen vehicle. Upon arrival and speaking with Mark Hochstetler, owner of Marlin Motors, he learned that a white male driving a Nissan Pathfinder had come to the business and asked to test drive a Dodge truck which was for sale.
After the owner looked at the individual's license, he allowed him to take the truck, with the individual stating he would go out to the co-op and return. After approximately one hour, and the individual not returning, the owner decided to notify the authorities.
While conducting an investigation at Marlin Motors, it was also discovered that the Pathfinder itself had been stolen from an address on Petty Gap Road in Cannon County. Without knowing the identity of the individual, a report was taken, and a be on the lookout was broadcast, and the vehicle was entered as stolen.
On Saturday November 28, 2009 Sergeant Mooneyham received word that the vehicle had been located in McMinnville, and was towed to the city's impound lot, where Sergeant Mooneyham went and looked at the vehicle, in an attempt to ascertain the identity of the person responsible for taking the vehicle, and also discovered where the unidentified person had taken a paint brush and white paint and painted the vehicle.
Upon searching the vehicle, a pawn ticket dated November 25th, 2009 was found inside the vehicle.
Mooneyham identified Marty J. Cooper Jr. of Grizell Lane in McMinnville as a suspect.
Mooneyham then returned to Woodbury, where a photo line-up was requested from the Department of Safety. On Monday December 7, while attempting to get the owner of the truck to look at the photos, Sergeant Mooneyhan received a call from a McMinnville detective. The detective stated they had just arrested the suspect on numerous other vehicle thefts. The detective also advised Mooneyham that a single key to a Dodge truck was found on the suspect's person, and thought it could possibly be the key to the stolen vehicle.
The detective then drove to Woodbury, where he and Sergeant Mooneyham went to Marlin Motors with the key to the now returned stolen vehicle. Based on this and other information, Sergeant Mooneyham then filed charges against Marty J. Cooper Jr. for the offenses of theft over the value of $1 ,000.00, vandalism over the value of $1,000.00 and driving while license suspended.
Mr. Cooper has an initial court date of January 12, 2010 before Judge Susan Melton in General Sessions Court.