According to police reports, the man said he did not have permission but that "finding the keys being in the vehicle was permission enough."
Police were called to a residence on Dallas Street at approximately 1:00 a.m. Saturday regarding a possible stolen vehicle. According to the report, the complainant said the vehicle had been taken by the suspect, 46-year-old Scott Milton Abernathy, and that he may have taken it to his home on Cherry Street.
When officers went to the Cherry Street location to locate Abernathy and the pickup, they were greeted by a woman who told them he was not home but pointed to the Taylor Chevron nearby and said Abernathy was walking toward them, the report states.
Police detained Abernathy at that time and continued their investigation. Officers went to the Chevron station and found the pickup which had license plates and "last 2011" and "Save $$$$" written on the windshield. The odometer read 75 miles and the paper mats were still in the floorboards.
While waiting for representatives from Bruner to arrive at the location, officers spoke to Abernathy about how he came to be in the possession of the pickup. According to the report, Abernathy told officers he had gone walking with his dog as it was getting dark and as he walked by the Bruner lot, he decided to check the vehicles for keys and he found this one unlocked with the key in it. Abernathy stated that he remembered the vehicle had 67 miles on it when he took it, the report states.
David Bohn of Bruner Auto Group arrived and told officers that Bruner staff checks that the vehicles are locked as well as all keys removed; but also indicated that they must have missed one. Bohn also stated that the dealership did wish to pursue criminal charges for the theft of the vehicle, the report states.
Abernathy was then arrested and charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
He remains in the Brown County Jail held in lieu of $5,000 bond as of Monday morning.