Patrol car stolen from Gainesville Regional Airport had gun and semi-automatic rifle onboard

A St. Petersburg man who was arrested on Nov. 5th for the theft of an Alachua County Sheriff deputy’s patrol car with guns inside, remains in jail with no bond.
According to the ACSO arrest report, Duncan Alexander Smith, 20, of St. Petersburg, temporarily deprived an employee of the ACSO “of the use of their agency-assigned vehicle by removing the fully-marked 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe from its parking location inside the secured perimeter fencing of the Gainesville Regional Airport.”

Duncan Alexander Smith

The vehicle was observed on video surveillance leaving the airport at 8:34 p.m. About two hours later, the deputy (victim) received an alert that their credit card, located in the stolen vehicle, had been used in nearby Columbia County. 
Electronic surveillance tools in the vehicle indicated that the missing patrol car was headed southbound on I-75 in Alachua County, the report states.
Deputies from the ACSO conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and arrested Smith who was the sole occupant.
During a post-Miranda interview, Smith stated that he was on a “spiritual journey” and needed to find means home when he came across the patrol car inside the airport property, according to the report.
The report states that Smith was not intentionally looking to deprive the ACSO Deputy Joseph Vangorder use of their agency-assigned vehicle by driving away without permission. Additionally, Smith knew the vehicle contained at least one firearm, the report said, referring to the deputy’s rifle in the passenger compartment of the stolen patrol car.
The arrest report states that Smith was charged with Second Degree Felony Burglary of an Authorized Emergency Vehicle Unarmed, Third Degree Larceny Felony of Grand Theft of Motor Vehicle, and Vehicle Theft in the Third Degree Grand Theft of Motor Vehicle.
The ACSO Offense Report states that the patrol vehicle, the Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic, a Glock 17 9mm gun, a Colt M4 semi-automatic rifle, and a set of golf clubs were all recovered from the arrest.
When the emergency call went out to ACSO, Gainesville Police Department, Alachua Police Department and the High Springs Police Department, the ACSO sent multiple vehicles to the I-75 exit 386 on ramp as the patrol car headed south, reports state.
Once the vehicles from ACSO surrounded Smith they determined a safe unpopulated area to conduct a felony stop. ACSO Lt. Brett Rhodenizer announced over the radio that the On-Star system was about to initiate an emergency shutdown of the patrol car causing it to decelerate and eventually lose all ability to operate under its own power.
The deputies observed Smith move the vehicle from lane three to two and then to lane one as with hazard lights activated. As Smith exited State Road 93 at exit 382, an unmarked ACSO unit activated emergency lights and blocked southbound travel off the off-ramp.
The deputies initiated a felony traffic stop and the driver, Smith, exited the vehicle and was detained in handcuffs. K-9 partner Taz was deployed to conduct an initial vehicle clearance, reports state. A secondary clearance using a ballistic shield found no other occupants of the vehicle.
Smith was taken to the Alachua County Jail where he cannot get bailed out.
According to ACSO Spokesperson Art Forgey, Smith has $0 bond on the Burglary /Authorized Emergency Vehicle charge, $50,000 bond on Grand Theft of a Firearm, $20,000 on Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle and $50,000 on the second count of Grand Theft of a Firearm.
“In other words, he (Smith) has a bond set at $120,000 for three of the four charges. However, since there is no bond set on the other, he cannot get out,” Forgey said.

Become A Member

Mainstreet does not have a paywall, but pavement-pounding journalism is not free. Join your neighbors who make this vital work possible.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments