3 arrested in Jackson County stolen van case

Ryan Gasper
Ryan Gasper

JACKSON COUNTY -- An investigation into a stolen van has led to three arrests, sheriff's deputies said Thursday.

Biloxi residents Nicholas Ryan Gasper, 22, his mother, Lillie Johnston, 39, and Thomas Matthew Pearson, 32, each face a charge of grand larceny.

On Oct. 15, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office began an investigation into the theft of a 1999 Ford E-350 cargo van containing approximately $6,000 worth of construction materials, Sheriff Mike Ezell said.

Investigators learned the vehicle had been sold to a local scrap yard that reported the sale as suspicious upon finding construction materials in the back.

Deputies arrested Gasper on Dec. 13 and upon further investigation, arrested Johnston and Pearson on Wednesday.

Pearson and Johnston are being held at the Jackson County jail in lieu of $5,000 bond set by Judge T. Larry Wilson.

Gasper was released from the Jackson County jail after posting a $3,000 bond.