MOBILE, Ala, (WALA) – A man generated attention with a sarcastic performance in front of TV news cameras after police charged him with stealing a Prichard Fire Department vehicle Wednesday has a criminal record.
Surveillance video released Thursday shows a man police identified as Jeffery McCants Jr. walking around inside Central Station on Turner Road, sliding into the 2009 Crown Victoria and then slowly backing out of the station.
McCants is being held at Mobile County Metro Jail on charges of first-degree theft and first-degree burglary. It is not the first time he has been accused of stealing a vehicle. judge in Bay County, Florida, sentenced him in 2014 to three years and four months in prison for grand theft auto. In that case, authorities say McCants in 2009 stole a silver 2005 Toyota Tacoma.
That theft happened in Panama City, where McCants was born. He took the pickup truck from a marine repair business. Court records indicate that McCants repeatedly used the victim’s cell phone, which was inside the vehicle. Also inside the pickup truck were new tools valued at almost $1,600.
Mobile police arrested McCants the very next day when they spotted him driving around town.
McCants has had some other scrapes with the law. Authorities charged him with first-degree arson in 2006. That charge was dropped; it’s not clear why, and the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office had no immediate explanation.
The jail log also shows a number of misdemeanor arrests over the years, ranging from criminal mischief to harassing communications to arson.
McCants confessed to the Prichard fire car theft on Wednesday as police were taking him to jail. As officers were putting a man under arrest named Henry Dixon into the same police vehicle. Authorities say Dixon, who faces drug and theft charges related to a car theft in Mobile, was with McCants when police arrested them.
“I did everything; excuse my language. I did everything,” he said. ”Hey, look, when I get out, I’m gonna steal a police car.”
McCants said he stole the car because God told him to.
“Hello, my name is Jeffery McCants,” he said. “I’m running for mayor of Mobile, Alabama, baby.”
McCants is due in court Friday for a bond hearing.