Disabled veteran in Lakeland has car stolen, set on fire

Posted at 6:05 PM, Jul 21, 2016

A disabled veteran from Lakeland is trying to figure out how to get to and from doctors appointments after someone stole his car, it appears, for no other reason than to set it on fire.

Joseph Vitrano had his car stolen last weekend right from his parking spot outside his apartment complex in Lakeland.

“Quite disgusted. I was sick to my stomach,” he said.

The car is clearly marked with not one, but two disabled veteran license plates. The plates were the only items Vitrano recovered from the vehicle after Lakeland Police found the car two days later burnt to a crisp.

“It was done to cause pain and suffering,” Vitrano said about the theft.

Vitrano is a retired paratrooper from the 82nd Airborne Division.

He used the car primarily to get to and from doctors appointments that he is now struggling to figure out how to keep.

“It’s really tough. You can imagine without a vehicle I have appointments that I have to keep,” he said.

If there’s any good news, Vitrano is savvy and smart. Last January he installed a few surveillance cameras after his car was vandalized.

This time he captured a picture perfect image of the suspected person.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is now searching for the man who stole the car apparently for no other reason than to set it on fire.

Vitrano can’t help but think he was targeted simply because he’s disabled and a veteran.

“There was no reason for it. Absolutely no reason for this to happen,” he said.