Athens Police arrested two Anderson County residents Friday in connection with the theft of a U-Haul cargo van from a Palestine dealer.

Forty-five-year-old Elmer Franklin Blythe of Palestine remained in the Henderson County Jail Monday, with bond set at $13,000 on charges of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and failure to ID. Thirty-four-year old Sarah Amanda Wagstaff of Elkhart was also held for unlawful use of a motor vehicle with bond set at $7,500.

At 10:50 p.m. Friday, the Athens Police Department received a call of a hit-and-run at Arby’s restaurant on West Corsicana. The caller said the van damaged the awning at the store’s drive-thru window and drove away without stopping. Store officials estimated the damage at $1,500.

At 12:35 a.m., APD Officer James Graham located the vehicle as it left the Taco Bell parking lot on East Corsicana Street.

“The officer made contact with the driver, who had a female with him,” Detective Sgt. Charles Gurley said. “They gave fictitious names and dates of birth.”

Graham ran the van’s license number and found the vehicle had been stolen in Palestine.

“I informed Palestine police that we had the stolen vehicle,” Gurley said. “We will process the case to our District Attorney’s Office here. (District Attorney Donna Bennett) could choose to prosecute them here or she could refer the case back to Palestine,” Gurley said.

Police also found keys to six other vehicles inside the van.

“I don’t know if their plan was to go back and steal more or not, but these were keys to vehicles at the business where they stole the U-Haul,” Gurley said.

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