An Ascension Parish jury convicted a Kenner man Thursday on charges he stole cars and sport utility vehicles that had broken down along Interstate 10 two years ago and towed them away with his truck for sale at a New Orleans-area scrap yard, prosecutors said.

Edwar A. Soto, 36, faces up to 15 years in state prison after being found guilty of three counts of automobile theft in March and April 2014.

Jurors handed down the sentence against Soto, 2730 Tifton St., Kenner, at the Ascension Parish Courthouse Annex in Gonzales after 15 minutes of deliberation, prosecutors in the 23rd Judicial District said in a statement.

Tyler Cavalier, spokesman for District Attorney Ricky Babin, said Soto still faces a number of charges in other parishes along I-10.

At trial, Judge Thomas Kliebert Jr., of the 23rd Judicial District Court, allowed prosecutors to present evidence of other alleged vehicle thefts by Soto as so-called “signature crimes” over defense objections, court minutes show.

Prosecutors did not disclose this in their statement Thursday, but court papers they filed earlier this month accused Soto of using a U-Haul tow trailer to take five other vehicles on or near I-10 in March and April 2014.

One each of the five thefts allegedly happened in LaPlace, Gramercy, Kenner, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, the prosecutors’ motion said.

Investigators also used a combination of license plate readers, a tracking device on Soto’s truck and scrap yard receipts to tie Soto to the thefts and the sale of the vehicles to Gulf South Automotive in the New Orleans area.

As investigators were looking into stolen vehicles at the shop on April 16, 2014, Soto actually showed up with a stolen car in tow, prosecutors said in the motion.

Kliebert deferred sentencing, pending a pre-sentence investigation. Soto has a prior aggravated burglary conviction, prosecutors said.

His defense attorneys could not be reached by deadline Thursday.

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.