Crime

Coast man accused of stealing trucks apparently has a type, Gulfport police say

Tips from Taco Bell surveillance video led to the identification of a suspected trailer thief, but Gulfport police still need the public's help.

Police released security video from the restaurant's drive-thru March 28 showing a man in a Ford F-350 ordering food on March 4. Police Sgt. Clayton Fulks said the man later stole a trailer from a business in the 16000 block of South Swan Road.

The truck seen in the Taco Bell drive-thru was also reported stolen, Fulks said.

On Monday, police identified the suspected thief as Jason Eugene Conaway. Fulks said an arrest warrant has been issued for the 39-year-old, who is described as being 5-foot-11, 200 pounds with green eyes and brown hair. He said Conaway also has a teardrop tattoo under his right eye.

According to the Harrison County jail docket, Conaway has been arrested in the past a number of times on felony charges such as grand larceny, receiving stolen property, burglary, possession of precursors with intent to manufacture and others.

Fulks wanted to thank the public's help for identifying Conaway but asked that anyone with information pertaining to his whereabouts contact the Gulfport Police Department at 228-868-5959 or Crime Stoppers at mscoastcrimestoppers.com or 1-877-787-5898.

UPDATED (4/23/2018): Conaway was arrested by Gulfport police on Sunday, April 22, 2018, on charges of grand larceny, taking a motor vehicle and receiving stolen property; was held for Wiggins Police on two counts of grand larceny and a burglary charge; was held for Picayune Police on a grand larceny charge; was held for Pearl River County on a grand larceny charge; was held for Jackson County on a charge of taking a motor vehicle; and was arrested on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, fleeing/resisting arrest and reckless driving.

Fulks said Conaway was arrested in the area of 26th Avenue and 33rd Street around 9:50 a.m. Sunday with the assistance of the Harrison County Sheriff's Department.

Fulks said Conaway, who reportedly used a stolen truck when he reportedly took the trailer, was occupying a truck that had been reported stolen from Slidell, Louisiana, on April 17. During the stop, Fulks said, the arresting officer was able to link Conaway to a stolen F-250 truck belonging to Russ Motors that had been reported stolen April 13.

Conaway is held at the Harrison County jail in lieu of several bonds for the grand larceny charge ($50,000 set by Gulfport Municipal Court Judge Kirk Clark), possession of stolen property charge ($5,000 set by Harrison County Justice Court Judge Brandon Ladner) and motor vehicle theft ($15,000 set by Ladner).

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2326, @patrickochs
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