The Panama City Police Department arrested a person involved in the theft and subsequent stripping of a 2013 Mazda CX9 from a local car dealership between January 26th and 27th.
Employees of John Lee Nissan reported the vehicle missing on January 28th from their lot located on East 23rd Street. The vehicle was located January 29th in a wooded area on the west end of Panama City Beach, substantially stripped of parts.
On Saturday, information was received that the parts from the vehicle were located in a rented U-Haul truck that was leaving a Panama City Beach residence in route to a location out of town.
Panama City Police detectives went to the location near the Open Sands community and observed the U-Haul being driven by a male subject depart the residential area. A traffic stop was conducted along Back Beach Road on the vehicle and the driver was identified and detained for driving on a suspended license.
The U-Haul truck was towed to the Panama City Police Department for further investigation.
A subsequent search of the U-Haul truck reveled most if not all of the parts from the stolen Mazda CX9. Arrangements are being made to return the car parts to the dealership.
The male is identified as 26 year old Jeremy J. Jones.
Jones listed a local Panama City Beach address and he was booked into the Bay County Jail for grand theft and dealing in stolen property in reference to the Mazda CX9.
Panama City Beach officers also charged Jones with driving on a suspended license. Investigators said they believe he could be tied to a theft a drug ring with connections to Albany, Georgia.
The U-Haul truck used to move the stolen parts and driven by Jones was rented by one of his family members out of Albany, Georgia. There are other suspects believed to be involved in this incident and more arrest are expected.