NewsPinellas County


Taunting thief captured on surveillance video flaunting stolen car keys at Pinellas car lot

Posted at 9:02 PM, Mar 01, 2019

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A man posing as a potential buyer was able to swipe the keys out of the door of a 2015 Kia Soul. Only to return a couple of hours later and finish the job.

“We caught him on the camera grabbing the key right out of the door of the Kia Soul right here,” Kaylyn Creel said. Creel runs the family business, Creel Motors Tampa Bay, with her father.

Creel said they were moving cars around the lot. An employee was about to go lock up when he noticed the key was gone. She said minutes earlier the man was talking to her father about buying a car.

“He came in here yesterday, discussed buying a car for his mom, you know we said bring mom on down,” Creel said.

He didn’t come back with his mom, but another unidentified man. They get in the brown Kia Soul and then start working to wiggle the car out of the parking spot. Creel said her dad tried boxing the car in with his SUV after realizing the key went missing. But the thief just rammed his way out.

“We try to put it bumper to bumper so you can’t sneak stuff out, but I guess somebody who is in a mood, they’ll crash everything on their way out,” Creel said. “He starts the car and wiggles it out and damaged two of my other cars in the process."

Creel said they’ve been in business for 67 years. She is now the third generation to operate the business, taking over for her father.

Creel tells us this is the third car stolen off their lot in the past month.

“We try to help people and seeing something like this, it hurts cause we try to be good people. We try to be right to our customers and our community, it sucks,” Creel said.

The 2015 brown Kia Soul will have damage down the passenger side. Creel said it is also unique in that it has one black rim and three silver rims.

“I was going to make them all black, I had a nice set for it on the left. Now I’m sure I’ll have tons of other things to fix,” Creel said.

If you have any information on this stolen vehicle call the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office at 727-582-6200.