Franklin Co. authorities charge two in multi-county auto theft ring
Posted January 26
Youngsville, N.C. — Two people face numerous charges in what Franklin County authorities are calling the bust of a major auto theft ring spanning eight local counties.
Franklin County Sheriff Jerry Jones said Sunday that Roger Dale Nipper, 50, and Sonny Marks, 44 were arrested after investigators last week raided Nipper's home, at 813 Moores Pond Road in Youngsville, and recovered 14 stolen trucks and truck parts valued at an estimated $1 million.
Nipper, who was in the Franklin County jail Sunday night under a $140,000 bond, faces nine counts of possession of stolen property. Marks, of 951 Lenoir Blvd., Hickory, is charged with one count each of larceny of a motor vehicle and felony larceny. He was out of jail Sunday night on a $35,000 secured bond.
Additional charges and more arrests are possible.
Investigators say the arrests initially stemmed from an investigation into a missing tractor-trailer and then grew to involve cases in Durham, Franklin, Halifax, Harnett, Johnston, Pender, Sampson and Wilson counties.
"Once we began talking and began to put some records together from other counties, we thought we were onto something big," Jones said. "Then, within an hour after we were on location at Moores Pond Road, we knew that we were in at least a multi-county – and maybe a multi-state – theft ring and chopping operation."
Jones said investigators are also looking at possible thefts in Kentucky and Mississippi.
Nipper's wife, who answered the door at their home Sunday afternoon, had no comment.