Timothy Allen Lane was in a hurry when a Fresno County sheriff’s deputy stopped him near Selma on Tuesday.
He was going to a Fresno County Superior Court hearing in downtown Fresno for a stolen vehicle offense.
But getting to court on time was the least of Lane’s problems.
When Sheriff’s Deputy Todd Burk stopped the Chevrolet Silverado pickup at Highway 99 and Mountain View Avenue, he was suspicious, said Tony Botti, sheriff’s spokesman.
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Lane told Burk he was planning to accept a plea deal for three-and-a-half years in jail for his involvement in a previous auto theft case.
When Burk ran a check, he discovered the pickup Lane was driving was stolen.
The whole ignition was ripped out. You had to start it with pliers.
Tony Botti, Fresno County Sheriff’s spokesman
Botti said Lane, 52, of Dinuba, told Burk he didn’t know the car was stolen.
But there was another telltale sign that made Burk run a check.
“The whole ignition was ripped out,” Botti said. “You had to start it with pliers.”
The car was stolen from Delano, Botti said.
Lane was booked into Fresno County Jail on suspicion of vehicle theft and receiving stolen property. His bail was set at $22,500.