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Repeat thief charged in truck thefts

A man serving probation for his eighth vehicle-theft conviction faces new charges accusing him of involvement in the thefts of three pickups taken from Southern Oregon dealerships earlier this spring.

Ira Dean Carney, 59, was arraigned Thursday on three counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle alleging he stole three new pickups off dealership lots in April and May of this year, according to documents filed in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Medford police believe Carney took two Ford F-150 pickups from Crater Lake Ford in Medford, which were recovered in April, and a Chevrolet Silverado pickup taken from TC Chevy in Ashland and recovered in May, according to court documents. At least one of the Ford trucks was listed as a 2018 model.

Carney was allegedly captured on surveillance video at a grocery store entering and exiting a white Ford F-150 matching the description of a truck recovered April 8. A second truck taken from the Ford dealership was described in court documents as a blue 2018 F-150, which police recovered April 24.

Carney was arrested May 10, after Jackson County sheriff’s deputies allegedly caught him behind the wheel of a Chevy Silverado pickup reported stolen from the TC Chevy in Ashland, according to court documents filed by Medford police. Further details about Carney’s arrest were sealed in court records.

Medford police say Carney has eight vehicle theft convictions. Jackson County court records show a rap sheet spanning more than three decades and involving nearly 50 criminal cases.

Carney was released from Jackson County Jail May 18, following a motion filed by the Jackson County District Attorney’s office releasing him on his own recognizance.

Earlier this year, Carney admitted to his role in the theft of two used cars — along with dozens of keys — taken last fall from a Medford used car lot. Carney was sentenced to 18 months of probation in January after pleading guilty to felony burglary, theft and vehicle theft charges in the thefts from Wright’s Auto Sales. Court records show his co-defendant in the case, Mistie Lee Vespoli of Drain, has a warrant for her arrest after failing to make a court appearance last July.

In addition to the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle convictions in Jackson County, Carney has multiple forgery, elude, theft and identity theft convictions since 2003, and Carney served a 20-year prison sentence for assault and burglary starting in 1982.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.

Ira Dean Carney