SPRING HILL, Fla. (FOX 13) - A 14-year-old from Spring Hill, Florida was arrested Wednesday for allegedly stealing a car, crashing it, and then stealing another vehicle.
The Hernando County Sheriff's Office said deputies went to the location of the first theft, on Cape Cod Loop, just after 8:30 a.m. The victim said she left her car running and returned to find an unknown man inside. He began to drive away and the victim took action.
"She decided that she wanted to stop it and prevent them from possibly stealing her vehicle so she jumped on the hood of her car," said Michael Terry, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office. "Obviously the first victim in the first instance is lucky to be alive. She jumped on a moving vehicle and the 14-year-old gave no regard to her safety and she could easily have been ran over and hit her head on the pavement."
An hour later, deputies were called to Tranquil Drive, where they say the suspect crashed the stolen car into a mailbox.
Michael Rodriguez is the owner of the mailbox, which he said he considers priceless art.
"I've never seen anything like that happen here in this neighborhood," Rodriguez said. "I was more disappointed about my mailbox because it was kind of precious to me and my neighborhood. It was a sculpture and it was well-known in the neighborhood and it'll be really hard to be replace it."
Rodriguez didn't hear the car crash. He found the car on top of his mailbox, but the driver was gone.
Minutes later, deputies said another vehicle was reported stolen on Millstone Street, less than a mile from the Tranquil Drive incident.
Deputies said the suspect's description matched the description from the first victim.
The second victim told deputies he saw someone walking and asked them to help move some items.
After providing assistance, the victim said the person asked for a ride but then asked for something to drink. When the victim went inside, the person drove away in the vehicle.
Using GPS technology assigned to the vehicle, deputies found it a short time later on Bartlett Street. The suspect tried to get away on foot but was captured.
"Parents need to be more in tune with what their child is doing on a day to day basis. It's 8:00 in the morning and this child is already out stealing vehicles," Terry said.
The teenager faces charges of grand theft auto, possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting an officer without violence, leaving the scene of an accident, and driving without a valid driver's license.
The suspect was processed and released into the custody of his parents per the direction of the Department of Juvenile Justice.