PROVO As if allegedly stealing a truck wasn't enough, police say a man tried to raise his bail money by selling the hot vehicle.
Police said that George Peahl, 45, recently tried to bail out of the Utah County Jail by arranging to sell a truck police say he stole in a Provo neighborhood nearly two months ago.
Investigators believe Peahl is also responsible for the disappearances of nearly a dozen cars in Orem over the past two months.
Officers with the Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division tracked the losses of the cars back to Peahl, who investigators say would pull up his legitimate-looking tow truck to older cars and haul them off.
The vehicles were then allegedly sold to an unwitting tow yard for scrap metal. When police found the cars, four had already been crushed and sold. The other cars were in the process of being disassembled, police said.
Because Peahl was already in jail on an unrelated case, officials simply added the numerous allegations of car theft to his list of woes. He has not officially been charged in the new allegations.
Police think he only took one car in Provo, but it was the same process load the abandoned, older truck onto a tow truck and haul it away without permission, said Provo Police detective Drew Hubbard.
The victim had parked his truck in an approved location other than in front of his house and didn't realize the truck was missing for several weeks, reporting the loss in mid-July, Hubbard said.
There were no leads until Peahl tried to leverage that truck as his bail money.
While in jail on entirely different allegations than the Provo or Orem thefts, Peahl called his brother last week, saying he had a truck to sell.
He had his son to come get paperwork from him at the jail to take to his brother, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in 4th District Court.
The brother, knowing that Peahl had recently been investigated for auto theft, came to police with the VIN. Within minutes, police verified that the vehicle was indeed stolen out of Provo.
The truck was found at Peahl's house and officers slapped another two allegations of possession of a stolen vehicle and attempted sale of a stolen vehicle onto Peahl's jail resume.His bail was increased another $15,000 Tuesday morning.
E-mail: [email protected]