A Pinellas County teenager is facing felony charges. He is accused of jumping a fence, breaking into a business and stealing two cars.
The owner of Park Auto Service thinks the teen had been casing Park Auto Service for weeks, and decided to break in late Friday night. The suspect climbed a fence, then busted out the window of the front door.
"He tore the alarm panel pad right off the wall, then instantly went over to our key rack, where he took the keys to our Mustang and Dodge Charger, both our customers' cars," said Chris Anderson, Park Auto Service owner.
The teen then got into the Charger, drove it through a fence, and brought it back to the lot. With the fence cleared out, he got into the Mustang and drove it off.
Even with thousands of dollars in damage to the entry of his business, to the fencing, and to a client's car, Anderson still counts himself lucky.
"Imagine if this car was totaled or somebody got killed in it or if there was a terrible accident, I mean, that's on us. We're liable for that. So yeah, we're very thankful that everything worked out in the end the way that it did," said Anderson.
The suspect, 18-year-old Rodney Hydorn, apparently dropped his wallet while scaling the fence to break in. Police say when he realized it was missing, he parked the pricey Mustang a few blocks away and came back to the business to get it. Anderson says Hydorn tried to act like he was only a witness to the crimes, but his story quickly fell apart. According to the arrest affidavit, Hydorn eventually gave a full confession.
"I mean that's like the best story ever. Literally, here you are, you steal a $35,000 hot rod. It's like 'Fast & Furious' driving through a fence, coming back for the hot rod, then you actually come back again because you lost your license. Then you get arrested and go to jail. Tell that one to your friends," said Anderson.
Anderson says after paying for the repairs to his damaged property, he plans to upgrade his security lighting an fencing, and to keep car keys in a locked safe. As for the 18-year-old who did all the damage, he has a simple message.
"You know, hey, I was 18 once, too. You screwed up, pal. I hope you learn from your mistakes and take your lumps," Anderson said.
Rodney Hydorn, Jr. is charged with felony burglary with property damage. Other charges may be added.