Teen car thief caught on camera in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Security system video shows a teen thief in action.

The 15-year-old had just stolen a car from nearby “A and J Garage” off 66th Street in St. Petersburg, where it was in for repair.

He didn’t get very far. The car conked out near a bend in the road, right in front of military veteran Keith Hansford’s house, which is brimming with security cameras.

Thursday morning, a sheriff’s deputy knocked on his door.

“They know I have the cameras and they know that at any time they need access to them, I’ll be glad to grant that to ’em,” said Hansford.

The teen is seen getting out of the disabled, stolen car, with a binder in one hand, and uses the other hand to rip the license plate off the car.

He runs toward a lake and later tosses the binder, then hides in Hansford’s front yard, keeping out of sight of passing cars.

A deputy took the video to Dixie-Hollins High School and the SRO quickly identified the thief.

“I’m glad we were able to help them get this one solved and maybe get this kid steered in the right direction,” said Hansford.

Hansford said he heard the teen denied everything until he saw the video.

“Great work by the sheriff’s office. It was solved before it was even reported stolen,” he said.

That teen is facing a charge of grand theft auto.

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