Former dealership employee arrested on charge of auto theft

Columbus police arrested a former employee of a local car dealership for auto theft after he was spotted driving one of the dealer’s new sports cars.

Just before 5 a.m. Sunday, Columbus Police Officer Michael Butler was doing an extra patrol in the parking lot of Chevrolet of Columbus in the 2800 block of Merchants Mile, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

Butler saw a red Chevrolet Camaro being driven recklessly without headlights, and then backing into an open parking spot among other new vehicles, Harris said.

Butler stopped Justin B. Dampier, 22, 9094 N. Miami Ridge Road, and then made contact with a manager from the Chevrolet dealership, Harris said.

Dampier was arrested on a preliminary charge of auto theft and later released from the Bartholomew County Jail Jail after posting $7,500 bond.

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Republic.