The Tuscaloosa Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division made an arrest in a string of car thefts that have taken place since early July.

According to a release from TPD, the first theft occurred after the owners of a vehicle left running went in a local gas station to make a purchase. Four other cars were later taken from are gas stations under similar circumstances over the course of several days following the initial incident.

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During the course of an investigation, CID investigators developed 19-year-old Robert Lee Johnson, Jr. as the suspect.

Johnson, of Cottondale, was questioned and arrested and charged Tuesday with five counts of first-degree theft. He is expected to face additional charges in the case.

The release said investigators believe Johnson kept the vehicles between four hours and a few days before abandoning them.

The release stated all but one of the vehicles have been recovered but investigators have information that is expected to lead them to recovering the last vehicle.

CID commander, Captain Kip Hart said many of the vehicles were taken because vehicles were left running or keys were left inside the vehicles.

"It just takes a split second for someone to hop in your car and take off when you do that," Hart said in the release.

TPD said further arrests could be forthcoming in the case.

Johnson is being held in the Tuscaloosa County Jail on a $150,000 bond. His bond on unrelated prior charges is expected to be revoked.

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