Theft charge dropped against woman driving Navy family's stolen car

By: Jenna Bourne, Action News Jax

Updated:

A woman charged last month with stealing an Oceanway Navy family’s car full of their belongings is now off the hook for car theft.

The State Attorney’s Office says the alibi Ciara Tillman gave the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office got her felony motor vehicle theft charge dropped.

Ashley Tennell got an email from the State Attorney’s Office saying they don’t have enough evidence to prosecute Tillman for the theft.

“I could not understand how there wasn’t enough evidence since she was driving my car. She had written my checks. She had my IDs that were in my car when it was stolen,” Tennell said.

The Navy family’s car disappeared last month while they were moving into their new house in Oceanway.

“Unfortunately, we had been moving all day and it was 2 a.m. and we were just tired. Our couches were in the garage so I couldn’t park in the garage,” Tennell said.

Tennell said the car was full of drug paraphernalia when her family got it back.

The State Attorney’s Office’s “disposition statement” shows Tillman’s alibi: She told police she was borrowing the car from her boyfriend, who told her he was renting it from someone named George for $50.

The statement said, “This is actually a common practice within some social circles, and not an unreasonable claim.”

Tillman is still charged with misdemeanor trespassing.                                                               

“It seems like the criminals have more rights than the victims. I feel like, at times, I’ve been the criminal instead of the victim, having to prove everything to everybody,” said Tennell.

Tennell said her checkbook was in the car when it was stolen and she reported to JSO nearly a month ago that Tillman has been writing bad checks in her name. She says an officer just came over Monday to pick up the false checks.

Tillman’s arraignment for her trespassing charge is set for April 11.

 

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