BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A Zachary man who deputies identified as a mechanic has been accused of stealing and selling one of his customer’s vehicles, according to authorities.

An official report completed by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office says it was Dec. 12, 2022, when James R. Ainsworth, 50, accompanied one of his customers to an EBRSO substation in Pride and claimed he had no idea where this particular client’s 2016 Black Dodge Ram was.

The customer’s truck had been parked on Ainsworth’s property since August, according to deputies. Apparently, the truck broke down in front of Ainsworth’s home and he’d helped the client move the truck onto his property under the agreement that he would repair it.

But by December, the vehicle was missing, records indicate. The client told deputies Ainsworth indicated it had been stolen from his property.

An investigator says evidence revealed the truck had not been stolen.

According to the detective’s report, Ainsworth sold his customer’s vehicle to a pull-a-part business for $400.

Incidentally, authorities say the truck was valued at $8,000.

After confirming that the customer had not agreed to allow Ainsworth to sell their vehicle, the detective says he arranged a meeting with Ainsworth, which resulted in a no-show.

Ainsworth was arrested Sunday, Feb. 19 on one count of theft of a motor vehicle and other charges. Records indicate he was then booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.