Cape Coral 14-year-olds accused of car thefts

Posted at 8:06 AM, Dec 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-23 08:06:16-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Three Cape Coral juveniles and two other adults are facing charges after the theft of two vehicles.

Cape Coral Police say the teen stole a Ford F250 last Thursday, and the victim quickly put out an alert on Facebook.  A Facebook friend spotted the stolen car at a 7-11 Saturday morning and took pictures of four black male occupants before calling police.

"My first initial instinct as a mom is was somebody watching and waiting for us to leave and if they were .. Were they watching my kids who were playing outside before we left?" victim Jennifer Dick said. 

When the owner began driving around to search for his vehicle, he spotted two of the black males walking out of South Industrial Park.  Police were called and detained 24-year-old Gleason McLaughlin of Cape Coral and an underage teenager.  They were standing near a Toyota Solara that had also been reported stolen.

At the same time, a citizen called in a suspicious pick-up in the 1600 block of Del Prado Blvd. which turned out to be the stolen Ford F250.  Officers stopped the vehicle and three teens inside got out and tried to flee.  A K9 unit prevented them from running, and all three were taken into custody. 

Investigators determined that one of the 14-year-olds taken into custody inside the truck was responsible for stealing both vehicles.   Two 14-year-old and a 13-year-old are facing vehicle theft charges. McLaughlin and 21-year-old Jason Collins face vehicle burglary charges.

Fox 4 is not naming the juveniles because of their age.

The truck owner's say they are grateful for the good Samaratins who spoke up so someone would be held accountable.

"It truly made me realize that there is good people out there watching out for other people. These people didn't even know me but they took the time to share the story they took the time to call the police to take pictures to do whatever they could to make sure we got the truck back," Dick said.