Man liked Ford Mustang so much, he stole it with salesman in passenger seat, cops say

A Louisiana man is accused of stealing a car that he took for a test drive in North Carolina.
A Louisiana man is accused of stealing a car that he took for a test drive in North Carolina. EL NUEVO HERALD

A car salesman in Lexington, North Carolina, ended up on the side of the highway Saturday, after the man he took for a test drive decided it was easier just to steal the car, according to the Davidson County Sheriff's Office.

To top it off, the thief didn't even have a driver's license, deputies say.

The victim, a salesman from Parkway Ford, told authorities what seemed to be a typical test drive turned ugly when the potential buyer threatened him, then told him to get out of the car along U.S. 52, near Lexington, according to a press release.

The driver, identified as 45-year-old John Anthony Harrison, then drove off alone in the 2017 Fort Mustang, officials said.

Not long after, Harrison and the stolen Mustang were located near the Green Needles Exit and he was arrested. Deputies charged him with felony larceny of a vehicle, misdemeanor communicating threats, misdemeanor interfering with emergency communications, and having no driver's license.

John Harrison

Harrison, who lives in Monroe, Louisiana, was given a $35,000 secured bond and a court date of May 21, officials said.

The strange scenario is not all that uncommon, records show, including similar incidents around the country.

In September, a Florida man was charged with stealing a $150,000 Maserati on a test drive at a Fort Lauderdale dealership, according to the Palm Beach Post.

And in 2014, an even stranger case was reported when a woman was dropped of at a Maryville, Tennessee, car dealership in a stolen Honda Civic, and she turned around and stole a Nissan Maxima during a test drive, according to the Daily Times of Blount County.

Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs