Franklin pair arrested on charges of auto theft

Two Johnson County residents were arrested after a sport-utility vehicle stolen two months ago in a small northeast Georgia town was located in Columbus.

Michael Gordon, 45, and Kristen N. Smith, 29, both of Franklin, were arrested on charges of Level 6 felony auto theft after they were stopped on Central Avenue at about 4:45 p.m. Monday.

Prior to pulling over the 2006 Dodge Durango, Columbus Police Officer Ivan Shultz learned a felony arrest warrant had been issued for Gordon by authorities in Georgia for auto theft, police said.

The vehicle was reported stolen in Cleveland, Georgia, in September.

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Smith was driving the SUV when Shultz, who was assisted by deputies from the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, pulled it over and took the occupants into custody, police said.

Smith is being held in the Bartholomew County Jail in lieu of $7,500 surety or $750 cash, jail officials said. Gordon is being held without bond due to the Georgia warrant for his arrest, according to jail records.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.