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1:39 AM Fri, Sept. 21st

Unlocked car with keys inside reportedly too tempting for convicted vehicle thief on meth

David Carl Johnson

David Carl Johnson

A week after being released from the Yavapai County jail after serving time for motor vehicle theft, David Carl Johnson, 18, of Paulden was booked into jail on felony charges of motor vehicle theft, aggravated DUI, and internal possession of a dangerous drug after Prescott police officers found him in possession of a recently stolen car and saw signs of impairment.

At 4:41 p.m. Aug. 5, officers answered a call about a car stolen from the downtown parking garage and; soon after, another officer said he was with the car and the driver in the 100 block of South Montezuma Street.

The owner of the car told officers that he had parked his car in the garage at 2:55 p.m., left the doors unlocked and put the keys in a messenger bag inside the car. When he returned at 4:40 p.m. the car was missing, according to the police report.

Officers approached the stolen car, asked the two passengers to get out of the car, placed them in handcuffs, and took them to a patrol vehicle. The driver of the car, later identified as Johnson, reportedly shouted, "They didn't do anything; I'm the one that took it."

Johnson told the officers he checked on some of his property in a friend's truck in the garage, walked up a floor to smoke a cigarette, and found the car's doors open and the key in the ignition, according to the police report.

Johnson said he got in the car, drove to a parking lot at Cortez and Goodwin, walked over to the courthouse, talked to friends, drove around, put $4.50 in gas in the car, and came back to the parking lot at Cortez and Goodwin and met some friends.

Johnson told the officer the friends got in the car and had just turned onto Montezuma Street when police stopped him. Johnson told police he planned to drive the car to Chino Valley to visit someone he knows, then abandon the vehicle.

The officer noticed Johnson had slight jerking movements in his muscles and asked if Johnson had taken any drugs. Johnson reportedly said he'd used methamphetamines the day before and his urine later flashed positive for meth, according to the police report.