A 19-year-old Largo, Florida man was charged with grand theft after allegedly stealing a 2012 Dodge Charger from a local dealership.
The man apparently entered the dealership Tuesday and test drove the vehicle. Later, police claim the man returned and stole the car from the dealership lot.
The man allegedly removed the spare key from the key ring after test driving the vehicle and returned to the lot after the dealership closed for the day.
On Wednesday, the dealership received a tip that one of its cars had been stolen. Clearwater police were contacted after a review of their inventory revealed a missing Charger.
Officers arrested the man at his home and transported him to the Pinellas County Jail. The stolen car was allegedly sitting outside his home. His bond was set at $5,000.
Florida courts tend to take grand theft charges quite seriously. In order for a grand theft charge in the state of Florida to be made, the following conditions must be met:
• Value of the stolen property exceeds $300
• The property must be taken without the owner's knowledge or consent
• The accused must have no intent to return the stolen property
When a person steals a motor vehicle, Florida classifies this as a felony sometimes charged as grand theft or grand theft auto. The consequences associated with any grand theft charge are usually severe. In order to receive a favorable outcome, it is important to consult with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Grand theft auto is a third-degree felony, punishable by a maximum of five years in prison. Those accused of grand theft auto charges are subject to the three strikes law in Florida. Basically, the penalties associated with every arrest become harsher with every "strike." Because of this, it is very important to contact the Florida Grand Theft Auto Attorneys at Whittel & Melton so that we can vigorously pursue an outcome that does not end in conviction. Receiving a conviction places you at risk for maximum penalties under the three strikes law.
If you have been accused of grand theft or grand theft auto in Clearwater or elsewhere in Florida, contact the Florida Grand Theft Auto Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or call our Pinellas County office at 727-847-2299 or dial us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).