ODESSA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa Bay man who was dragged by a car while trying to prevent the theft of his PlayStation 4 has been released from the hospital and now deputies are searching for the person who drove off with his game.
The incident prompted the closure of a stretch of Gunn Highway on Saturday afternoon.
Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the 7-Eleven on Gunn Highway in Odessa around 4 p.m. on Dec. 26.
Investigators say Jonathan Vinas, 25, met a stranger at the gas station. The stranger had agreed to buy a PlayStation 4 system from him. The two had negotiated the deal using the app “Offer Up”.
Gas station surveillance video showed Vinas getting out of his vehicle and giving the driver of a white Sebring his PS4 system. Then, the driver began to leave with Vinas’ PS4.
The surveillance video shows Vinas running up to the moving vehicle and grabbing onto the passenger side window as the Sebring began traveling south on Gunn Highway.
Vinas eventually let go of the vehicle after it traveled 200 yards.
Vinas suffered multiple abrasions. He was treated and released from the hospital with minor injuries.
A stretch of Gunn Highway was closed for about two hours while deputies investigated.
The suspect has not been caught and the PlayStation 4 has not been recovered.
News Channel 8 found Will Hickman at the same 7-Eleven today and he says the entire incident is “almost unbelievable.”
He says he’s bought and sold items online before, but unlike in this case, Hickman says, “I would go to a very populated area. Definitely not on the side of the road.” He went on to say, “I wouldn’t probably go to a 7-Eleven to do something like that. Maybe something more along the lines of like a Target shopping center during peak hours.
As for the victim, we called his number several times but have yet to hear back from him.
Several law enforcement agencies in the area have set up specific spots, like outside sheriff’s department buildings or in the parking lot or in the lobby, to make transactions like these possible where buyers and sellers know they can feel safe making deals.
While Pasco County has yet to have a specific area, a spokeswoman recommends people use their lobby or parking lot, but recommend people not follow Vinas’s actions.
“Don’t be a hero,” says Pasco County Sheriff’s spokesperson Melanie Snow. “Do not chase after the suspect who took off with the goods.”
Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputies are investigating the case as a property crime theft.
New PlayStation 4s sell for about $349 and up.