The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) has arrested two individuals, Payton Robinson, 18, from Tampa, and Haley Aldridge, 20, from Orlando, on charges related to Attempted Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle.
This incident aligns with the current statewide and nationwide pattern of thefts involving Dodge Challenger/Charger vehicles.
Around 3:00 a.m. on November 14, an SCSO deputy noticed a gray Dodge Charger without its lights on, traveling at high speed on Clark Road.
Simultaneously, the sheriff’s office received a 911 call from a nearby BMW dealership reporting three suspects breaking into and attempting to steal a white Dodge Charger from the car lot.
The vehicle pursuit was halted due to the hazardous speeds involved.
Shortly after, a crash involving a gray Dodge Charger was reported on I-75 north of Clark Road. The caller witnessed multiple individuals fleeing the scene.
With the help of a Sarasota Police Department officer and his K-9, two of the three suspects were tracked and apprehended in the vicinity.
Further investigation revealed probable cause to charge both defendants with attempted grand theft.
Additionally, Aldridge, the registered owner of the gray Charger, was found to have violated probation stemming from a previous robbery charge in Florida.
The recent targeting of Dodge Challengers and Chargers in local auto theft cases is attributed to the discontinuation of these models, rendering their parts more valuable.
Stolen vehicles of this type are seldom recovered, and the SCSO currently has three open cases involving similar auto thefts. The investigation is active and ongoing.