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Driver Faces Multiple Charges in Theft of Deputy's Cruiser

Tampa Bay Tribune via YellowBrix

January 03, 2011

RUSKIN, FL – A man who crashed his car into a culvert this morning tried to steal the cruiser driven by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputy investigating the crash, according to HCSO.

Shortly before 6 a.m., Deputy Richard Paul responded to a traffic crash at 809 2nd Ave. N.E. where a 1993 Mercury had driven into a culvert in front of the residence, breaking the axle on the vehicle.

When Paul arrived, the Mercury was empty. A few minutes later a man walked out of a wooded area and told Paul – an 8-year-veteran – that he crashed the Mercury.

The man was cooperative and standing at the front of Paul’s 2008 Crown Victoria. Paul, 61, left the cruiser running and the emergency lights activated.

When he walked over to inspect the crash, the suspect jumped in Paul’s vehicle and drove away to 6th Street N.E. and Shell Point Road where he abandoned the cruiser with its lights still activated. The patrol vehicle was not damaged and there was nothing taken.

The suspect was located at approximately 9 a.m. walking on the sidewalk in the area of 21st Street S.E. and College Avenue.

Andrew Marie, 17, of 2218 College Avenue East, Ruskin, was arrested and charged with grand theft, grand theft of an emergency vehicle, armed burglary and leaving the scene of a traffic crash. He also had two outstanding warrants, for no valid driver’s license and failure to comply with a court order.

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