Car thief admits guilt

A Carson City man arrested after a rash of February car burglaries pleaded guilty Monday to two crimes.

John Wayne Warren, 28, admitted one count of vehicle burglary and one count of attempted vehicle burglary. Another charge was dropped in exchange for the guilty plea.

Deputies linked Warren and his alleged accomplice, Lee Courneya, 31, to between 50 and 70 cases recorded in late January and early February. Several car owners reported thefts of checks, registration and insurance papers, as well as electronics.

Investigators believe that insurance and registration papers were used to make false identification as part of a check-cashing scheme.

Courneya is accused of being more heavily involved in the crime spree, according to deputies. Investigators reportedly found identification papers, phones, car stereos and a computer used to falsify checks in Courneya's apartment.

Warren agreed to testify in Courneya's case as a part of the plea bargain. Courneya is set for a preliminary hearing on possession of stolen property, drugs and paraphernalia on Tuesday.

Warren will be sentenced June 5. He faces a maximum of 15 years and a $20,000 fine.

No one has been arrested for suspicion of several car thefts also recorded during the time of the break-ins.


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