A man who tried to steal a 45-foot 2003 Prevost bus conversion motorhome from the Buddy Gregg Motor Homes dealership in Knoxville, Tenn., was arrested after he drove the luxury coach off a road, according to the Daily Times of Maryville, Tenn.
Michael Terrell Green, 26, of Maryville, was arrested Thursday (May 13) and was being held at the Blount County Jail in lieu of a $2 million bond. Green has a court appearance scheduled for May 27.
Green is accused of trying to steal the bus conversion owned by a North Carolina man who was trading it in at the Gregg dealership, the newspaper reported. Because the stolen coach is valuued at $1.2 million, Green’s bond was set at $2 million. Tennessee law allows for the setting of a bond that exceeds the value of the property that was stolen, according to the Daily Times.
The police were first contacted late Thursday morning by a resident who said a large motorhome was stuck on a curve along a road. It was partially in a ditch with the rear section of the vehicle wedged against the pavement.
Green was with the vehicle waiting for a wrecker he had asked one of the nearby residents to call. The resident said he had called the wrecker as requested but also called the police because the man driving the motorhome seemed unfamiliar with its operation.
The police soon learned that a bus conversion had been reported stolen from the Gregg dealership and subsequently took Green into custody.
To move the motorhome, an employee of the Gregg dealership got behind the wheel and pushed a button to turn on a compressor that inflated air bags to raise the motorhome chassis several inches to its standard travel position. The vehicle is designed so it can be lowered to within four inches of the ground when parked.
The only apparent damage to the vehicle was to exterior paint.
The North Carolina resident who owned the 2003 Prevost had taken it to the Gregg dealership to trade it in for a 2004 model. He left the motorhome at the Knoxville dealer overnight so his equipment could be moved into the new vehicle he was picking up Thursday.
Employees at the Gregg dealership said the motorhome was stolen sometime after 6:15 a.m. Thursday when it was seen on the lot. Police said Green told investigators the motorhome was unlocked with the keys inside when he took it, the Daily Times reported.
Green said he drove the vehicle to a parking area behind a convenience store, stopped and took a nap in the king-size bed before he heading to Chicago to see his mother, according to police.