Car Dealership Manager, Former Officer Arrested for Alleged $28,000 Theft

TRUMANN, Ark. – The general manager of a car dealership in Trumann, who is also a former state trooper, has been arrested on accusations of stealing over $28,000 from his employer.

Nicholas R. Holley, 36, of Jonesboro, was arrested on Thursday, November 9, for theft of $25,000 or more and 1st-degree forgery, both serious felonies. He is accused of stealing over $28,000 from the Central car dealerships.

The investigation into the incident began in late October, but the alleged thefts date back to as far as June of this year, an incident report with the Trumann Police Department reveals. Trumann authorities were told that Holley, the general manager at Central Ford in Trumann, had allegedly been taking large sums of cash meant for vehicle purchases or down payments toward the purchase.

During vehicle sales, customers would make a down payment. The “deal sheet” was completed and sent for financing. After approval and return, Holley would allegedly alter the figures, either showing a higher trade-in value or changing the vehicle’s purchase price to cover the missing amount. The report alleges that Holley then pocketed the cash and left the store or waited until closing to walk out with the money.

Officers reviewed video surveillance showing Holley removing large sums intended for sales turn-ins, the report states.

On October 30, authorities met with Holley in Jonesboro at Central Chevrolet. However, Holley declined to speak to detectives without his attorney present. Questioning was stopped, but Holley was informed of a felony warrant for his arrest. At the time, Central dealerships did not wish to pursue charges but wanted the option if Holley did not reconcile as agreed in private.

By Thursday, November 9, authorities were contacted again by the Central dealerships. Another $6,000 in stolen money had been discovered, bringing the total to $28,756. Additionally, Holley had not communicated with management since the October 30 meeting and seemed to be avoiding calls and texts. The dealerships decided to press charges.

Trumann dispatch contacted JPD to assist with the arrest. Authorities were cautioned to use care during apprehension due to Holley’s former law enforcement status, as he previously worked as an officer in Jonesboro and as a state trooper for Arkansas State Police.

Later that same day, Nov. 9, Holley was taken into custody. He was transferred to the Trumann Police Department and booked on charges of theft of $25,000 or more from a business and 1st-degree forgery, both Class B felonies carrying sentences of five to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $15,000.

A $10,000 bond was set for the accused’s release. The defendant’s next court appearance is set for 9:30 AM on December 15.

Holley served as an officer with the Jonesboro Police Department previously. He was involved in a controversial incident where a man was shot and later died following a struggle on Halloween, 2011.

Holley also worked as an Arkansas State Police trooper, retiring in November, 2016 according to commission meeting minutes.

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