Police: Car thief stuck in neutral

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Doglips, Jul 20, 2002.

  1. Doglips

    Doglips Guest

    Police: Car thief stuck in neutral
    By G.M. BROWN
    Sun staff writer
    A Gainesville man was discovered by police after he allegedly broke into a car and couldn't get out.

    David Christopher Lander, 51, of 10013 NW 13th Ave. was arrested early Thursday morning after he was locked inside a car he was burglarizing, Alachua County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Keith Faulk said.

    Matthew Cooper of Atlantic Beach, who was in town visiting relatives, was falling asleep just after 2 a.m. when he heard the car alarm go off.

    "I thought someone was trying to break into my truck, so I grabbed my shotgun and ran out there in my boxers," Cooper said. He discovered that it was the neighbor's car alarm.

    As Cooper approached the car, he saw a man trying to kick out the windows from inside.

    "I went back and told my wife to call 911."

    When deputies arrived, they found Lander - locked in the car.

    "He was trying to hide - all scrunched down in the back seat," Faulk said. "I guess he thought deputies couldn't see him."

    The 1994 Infiniti is equipped with an anti-theft device that automatically locks the doors when the car alarm is triggered, Faulk said. When Lander entered the car, the doors locked.

    "Had he pushed the button on the driver's side door, he could have gotten out," Faulk said.

    Cooper said he was amazed Lander couldn't get out.

    "He was intoxicated for sure. When the cops let him out of the car, I could smell the alcohol all over him," Cooper said.

    The owner of the car, Sandra Boutwell of 10112 NW 6th Place, slept through the incident, Cooper said.

    "She got out there and couldn't believe it," he said. "She was in shock."

    When Lander was arrested, deputies found in his pockets a pendant valued at less than $50 and $3.21 in coins taken from the car. Lander was charged with one count of burglary of a conveyance and one count of theft.

    In 19 years of law enforcement, Faulk said he has never seen anything this dumb - "not where the suspect was caught because of his own ignorance."

    "Maybe he needs a new line of work. He's not very good at what he's doing now."

    G.M. Brown can be reached at 374-5036 or
    :p :rolleyes: