The former employee of a local car dealership is in jail with four additional charges tied to car thefts from the dealership where he worked.

James Dudley Hawkins, 27, made his initial appearance Tuesday in Comanche County District Court where he received three separate felony charges of larceny of an automobile, as well as a felony count of possession of a stolen vehicle, all after six former felony convictions, records indicate. Each larceny count is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and the possession count is punishable by up to 12 years in prison due to his prior record.

Hawkins was initially charged June 9 with a felony charge of possession of a stolen vehicle, along with a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle with an improper tag, all after six prior felony convictions, records indicate. He faces up to another 12 years in prison if convicted.

Investigators believe that Hawkins had taken keys from a rack at the dealership during his employment as well as taking the rack when he was fired.

One of the new larceny counts stems from the Feb. 14 theft of a Honda Civic from Legend Driven Buick GMC Mazda of Lawton. According to the probable cause affidavit, investigators learned that Hawkins received a ticket in the stolen car. He had been fired from the dealership on April 20. The vehicle was found June 2 at a home in the 2200 block of Northwest Lindy Avenue after someone had called to have it towed.

The spare key to the Civic was later recovered on May 23 inside the glove box of an Audi Q8 that had been stolen from the lot earlier that day, the affidavit states. The Audi was recovered in Wichita County, Texas.

Hawkins is also accused of taking a Cadillac XTS from Legend Driven on May 18. The car was recovered at a home in the 7300 block of Southwest Pecan Meadow Drive in Comanche County, the affidavit states.

Hawkins was first arrested the morning of June 8 after a vehicle reported stolen from Legend Driven was found in his driveway, according to the affidavit. By afternoon, police were watching Hawkins’ home and he was seen driving away with an invalid tag and a traffic stop was initiated. The vehicle identification number matched one of the stolen vehicles. He declined to speak with investigators and was booked into Tillman County jail.

Hawkins was freed June 10 on $5,000 bond and is scheduled to return to court at 3 p.m. Aug. 20 for this case.

It was last Friday when investigators said they caught Hawkins with a stolen Dodge Charger, taken from the Fort Sill Post area. According to the affidavit, Hawkins ran away as an officer approached him. A check of the car’s tag revealed it was a stolen tag. When Hawkins was picked up by another officer, he was arrested and taken to the Tillman County Detention Center.

Hawkins has six prior felony convictions in Comanche County: two counts of false declaration of ownership in pawn, March 2013; and attempted second-degree burglary, two counts of taking/receiving stolen credit or debit car, and knowingly concealing stolen property, records indicate.

Hawkins is being held on $15,000 bond for each new count, $60,000 total, and is slated to return to court at 3 p.m. Aug. 24 for his preliminary hearing conference, records indicate.

Written by Scott Rains:

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