Abilene man arrested for auto sales scheme says he's no thief


BROWNWOOD, Texas - {span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}An Abilene man in jail on two theft warrants says he didn't operate an auto sales scheme as described by law enforcement.{/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}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.{/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}He reportedly sold it to a dealership in Early for less money. {/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}"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."{/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}Jackson operated the Autoshack in Bangs -- a dealership the Brown County Sheriff's Office described as an auto theft ring. {/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}But Jackson said he always intended to pay people the money he owed them.{/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}"I've never stole one thing from anybody on purpose. Ever," Jackson said. {/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}Brown County Sheriffs' investigator John Harper said Jackson scammed several other people out of thousands of dollars by selling cars without titles.{/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}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.{/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}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.{/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}But Jackson seemed to downplay them.{/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}"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. {/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}Jackson remains in jail on bonds totaling $50,000, according to the Brown County Jail's website.{/span}{/span}