Stolen tow truck: There’s more to the story

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WATE) — An update on a stolen tow truck and the couple who reported it missing in Pigeon Forge in February.

Police report the high-powered engine to the truck has been found, but the man who owned it has been charged with theft in the state of Alabama.

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An Alabama woman told WATE 6 On Your Side that the tow truck operator — had a second business.

In Alabama, he has a contracting business under several different names, just like he is known to use several aliases, according to police investigators.

Two months ago we reported a very unusual crime. Police said it was the first-ever stolen tow truck in Pigeon Forge. A $4,000 reward was offered by the trucks’ owners for its safe return.

In February we reported how this couple “Jay and Jana Smith” — the names they gave us at the time — were desperate to have their tow truck recovered.

Pigeon Forge police confirm the truck — operated by J & J Towing — was stolen from a parking lot at a local motel. The couple told us, they had put a lot of money into the truck updating it with a souped-up motor.

Turns out, the man calling himself “Jay Smith” had another source of income and several other aliases. He’s a contractor known in several Alabama communities as Josh Nabors — as seen in this Marion County, Ala. mugshot below.

Joshua Nabors. (Photo: Marion County Sheriff’s Dept. Alabama)

From her home northwest of Birmingham, Ala. Terri Holland contacted WATE 6 On Your Side after seeing our report in February online about the stolen tow truck.

“I wish I had never met him,” Terri Holland said. “He identified himself to me and my family as ‘Josh Mallard’ when I met him. And when he came to our home he was in a truck that had a sign on the side that said ‘Mallard Construction’”

Last September, Josh Nabors, that’s his real name, operated Mallard Construction in Winfield Alabama about 80 miles northwest of Birmingham.

Mrs. Holland and her husband signed a contract with Mallard Construction last fall. They paid full price nearly $22,0000 in advance. Nabors also runs a business named Nabors Construction.

Charges against him filed last month include multiple counts of Theft by Deception, according to the Jasper, Ala. police records.

The phone number given to us when we interviewed Nabors/”Jay Smith” — is no longer in service. And that stolen tow truck — Pigeon Forge Police report they found the expensive motor but not the truck.

Terri Holland says all she wants from Josh Nabors is her money back.

“I would just like for him to make it right. It’s just not right,” Holland said.

Since Terri Holland first notified us about Nabors, we received a second call from another Alabama resident who said she, too, hired Nabors but the work was never finished. We don’t know if Nabors offered construction services while living here in East Tennessee late last year and the beginning of this year.

Investigators in Alabama tell us Nabors used several aliases: “Josh Mallard,” “Josh Lowell” and “Josh Mozingo.”

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