DOCUMENT: Animals, Florida, Crime

Fleeing Florida Car Thief Hit Alligator, Crashed

Sunshine State reptile helps take bite out of crime


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Gator Foils Car Theft

MAY 15--A suspected auto thief was captured after the stolen car he was driving struck an alligator as the animal was crossing a Florida road, police report.

Calvin Rodriguez, 22, was driving a hot Honda Civic Tuesday when he was spotted by Port St. Lucie Police Department officers. Rodriguez sped off with cops on his tail.

According to a police report, the vehicle “began driving at a high rate of speed and was lost sight of.” Rodriguez’s escape, however, was not without complications, cops noted.

“The Honda was later discovered to have crashed into an alligator, causing it to crash into a median,” police reported. A search of the 1999 Honda yielded a set of “shaved keys” that Rodriguez reportedly told police he used to “boost” cars. “This shows that Calvin was in control of the Honda that struck the alligator and the median,” investigators noted.

A police spokesperson told TSG that he was unaware whether the alligator survived the collision.  

One of Rodriguez’s alleged accomplices told officers that he “steals cars, drives them for a few days, and gets rid of them.” After being read his Miranda rights, Rodriguez confessed to the auto theft, saying that he learned to steal cars “by growing up in a tough town in Connecticut.”

Alligators, however, are not known to vex Nutmeg State thieves.

Seen in the above mug shot, Rodriguez is jailed on an assortment of felony theft charges. He is being held in the St. Lucie county jail in lieu of $37,500 bond. (2 pages)