LAKE JACKSON — A Lake Jackson man was behind bars Wednesday after police say he stole a friend’s car.

Kasey Wayne Long, 29, remained at Brazoria County jail in lieu of a $5,000 bond Wednesday after his arrest on a state-jail felony unauthorized use of a vehicle charge, according to online records.

A 25-year-old woman reported her friend’s 1997 white Ford F-150 pickup, which was in her care, was missing from her driveway in the 100 block of Holly Street when she returned from a trip May 26, Lake Jackson Police Sgt. Carey Lankford said.

Long sometimes received mail at the home and the truck’s keys were left in the mailbox, Lankford said. Long denied having the missing vehicle, but commented to investigators the keys should not have been left in the mailbox, Lankford said.

A Freeport Police Department license plate reader flagged the vehicle May 29 and police recovered the truck from a Clute apartment complex in early June, Lankford said. Investigators enhanced the license plate reader image and saw a distinct tattoo that matched a tattoo on Long’s hand, which provided probable cause to charge Long, Lankford said.

State jail felonies are punishable by up to two years in state jail.

Maddy McCarty is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0151.

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