A Jacksonville man was arrested Sunday in Orange Park and is facing a charge of grand theft auto, deputies say.
According to the arrest report, deputies were dispatched to the Stay Suites of America, 1656 Wells Road, in Orange Park on Sunday at approximately 5:15 p.m. in reference to a stolen vehicle.
One day prior, on Saturday at approximately 10:51 p.m., deputies conducted a traffic stop on a Chevy Malibu near the intersection of Debarry Avenue and Wells Road. During the investigation of the vehicle, a deputy noticed the ignition of the vehicle appeared to be tampered with, the arrest report said.
The occupants included the driver, Christopher Wilcox, 48, of Jacksonville and a passenger in the front seat. Portions of Wilcox’s statements are removed from the arrest report.
Deputies began looking for the owner of the vehicle to investigate whether or not Wilcox had permission to use the vehicle. Once deputies made contact with the female victim, she told them she was unaware that her vehicle was missing before deputies got in contact with her, the arrest report said.
The victim completed a written statement regarding the incident and it was at this time that the vehicle was labeled as stolen and Clay County Sheriff’s Office began their search for Wilcox.
Deputies returned to the Stay Suites of America and located the vehicle in the parking lot behind the motel, the arrest report said. Wilcox and the same passenger from the day before were seated inside the vehicle. Deputies ordered them out of the vehicle and placed them in handcuffs.
Both Wilcox and the passenger agreed to speak with deputies, but their statements have been removed from the arrest report. Wilcox did not complete a written statement, the report notes.
Due to the victim claiming she did not know Wilcox, never gave him permission to drive the car and Wilcox being in possession of the stolen vehicle with a broken ignition and key, he is charged with grand theft auto, deputies said.
Wilcox was transported to Clay County Jail and his bond is set at $25,003.