Abilene man arrested for auto sales scheme says he's no thief
BROWNWOOD, Texas - An Abilene man in jail on two theft warrants says he didn't operate an auto sales scheme as described by law enforcement.
Thomas Bret Jackson, 61, was arrested last week for allegedly scamming a Bangs woman out of $21,500 after he gave her a hot check for her Ford pickup truck, according to court documents.
He reportedly sold it to a dealership in Early for less money.
"It's just one of those money things. We just didn't have enough money to stay open," Jackson said in a jail house interview. "And you rob Peter to pay Paul and sometimes you get behind and can't catch up. And that's what happened."
Jackson operated the Autoshack in Bangs -- a dealership the Brown County Sheriff's Office described as an auto theft ring.
But Jackson said he always intended to pay people the money he owed them.
"I've never stole one thing from anybody on purpose. Ever," Jackson said.
Brown County Sheriffs' investigator John Harper said Jackson scammed several other people out of thousands of dollars by selling cars without titles.
In October he promised to pay a 59-year-old Brown County man $6,500 for selling his used 2011 Chevy Impala but never paid him, according to Harper.
The director of Jones County's probation office previously told KTXS Jackson was placed on probation for five years in August for three forgery-related charges.
But Jackson seemed to downplay them.
"It was a deal where I just signed the back of a title. You know, every dealer in the world signs the back of a title somewheres," he said.
Jackson remains in jail on bonds totaling $50,000, according to the Brown County Jail's website.