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FOX 13 Tampa Headlines

Tow truck driving suspect steals car from driveway

A man's home surveillance camera captured someone driving a tow truck, stealing his car right out of his driveway - and he just bought the car three months ago.

Damian Rios said he woke up to find his 2006 blue Infiniti Sedan missing from his home on Andrew Avenue on Sunday, May 8.

"I've been parking my car in this driveway for the past 13 years, and nothing has happened," said Rios.

His wife's car and his moped were untouched.

When he checked his surveillance cameras, he was shocked to see a tow truck hook up to the car and drive off within seconds, around 3 a.m. At first, he assumed there was a mix-up at the dealership where he purchased the car back in February.

"I'm thinking, 'that's a towing truck, so that's probably repo!'" said Rios.

He went back to the dealership on Monday morning to try and clear things up, but he was hit with another surprise after talking to a manager.

"I said, 'Why do you got my car?' She said, 'I don't have your car in here,'" Rios said.

That's when he realized he had been robbed.

Rios turned over his surveillance footage to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, but the footage is too dark to make out the driver or any distinguishable markings on the side of the tow truck.

"We know what happened, we know when it happened, we just don't know who did it." said
Lt. Joe Giasone.

With no leads, investigators are circulating the surveillance video online, hoping someone who witnessed the heist will see it.

"We're hoping somebody might know something or maybe have seen something that night that they didn't realize was related to a crime," said Lt. Giasone.

Rios said the dealer tried to help by checking the GPS tracking chip on his car, but discovered it was removed 15 minutes after the car was taken from his home.

Being without a car is especially difficult for Rios due to his medical needs.

"I'm a handicapped person. I need my car to go everywhere, like a doctor's appointment. I don't like to depend on nobody else. Right now, I have to depend on my wife to take me everywhere," said Rios.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is asking the public to be on the lookout for a blue 2006 Infinite Sedan with Florida license plate 771-7GK.

Anyone with information can contact SCSO Criminal Investigation at 941-861-4900, submit an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers of Sarasota County by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477), or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.

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