A 1999 Ford Van is back in front of the home on Spring Hill Drive where investigators said it was stolen from Wednesday
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office said known felon Bethia Politis took off with it, after the van’s owner left it running for just moments while he went back into the house.
A day later family members spotted the van at a Target and followed it into Pasco County.
Investigators said Politis likely knew she was being followed and pulled into a flooring warehouse in Hudson on US 19.
The van owner blocked her in by the loading dock.
Deputies were on the way, but Antonio Pereira, who is the brother-in-law of the van’s owner, tried to pull Politis out.
That’s when the sheriff’s office said she hit the gas in reverse, catching Pereira between the door and the vehicle.
“He was then pulled beneath the vehicle at which time she ran him over,” said Sgt. James Sessa.
Investigators said Politis tried to run off, but workers stopped her.
She is charged with murder, along with auto theft.
Meanwhile, Pereira was badly hurt and died from his injuries.
“I will say if the situation had been a little different, and law enforcement had arrived first before they took action, things could have changed differently,” said Sessa.
The Sheriff’s office said confronting criminals can be dangerous, and if you are following them, do it from a distance.
Always put your safety first.
“This is a tragic situation. Nobody will ever refute that. And the blame only goes to the female that stole the vehicle. She is the one who created this whole situation,” said Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco.
We don’t know much about the victim yet. Family members appeared to upset to speak.
There is surveillance video from the warehouse showing what happened, but the sheriff’s office isn’t releasing it yet.