Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Near Olney, MD
Ferrari Life Posts: 1,354
Racetrack wallet thefts caught!
This guy has been hitting racetracks around the country for years. He got my wallet and others at VIR and also hit tracks as far away as Road America. He targets a race group and locates thier paddock spots. When that group goes out he goes in all the trailers and steals the wallets from your street clothes.
Gainesville, FL -- A Georgia man who police report is suspected in race trailer burglaries over the past several years at Daytona, Sebring and Road Atlanta has been arrested after being caught sneaking into an RV at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, FL last week.
According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Gainesville police charged Steven Garry Sanders, 51, of Macon, GA with burglary after victims at the Gainesville track allegedly caught him in the act. "He was subdued in the pits by some of the fans and spectators and had to be taken to the hospital and treated" before he was booked into jail, Alachua County sheriff's spokesman Art Forgey told the Gainesville Sun. Forgey added, "Somebody at the track told us that they have had this problem before at the events, of people going into motor homes and taking stuff." According to the police report, Sanders had his victim's wallet, credit cards, ID and cash in his pocket when arrested.
Daytona Beach investigators told the paper they believe Sanders is the same man who stole a number of wallets from Daytona International Speedway race trailers during events over the last three years and fraudulently purchased items at area big-box stores including Publix, Dillards and Walmart, where surveillance video reportedly showed Sanders buying gift cards, bottled water and beer. A race fan tape-recorded Sanders as he allegedly stole from a nearby RV and still had his camera running when Sanders came into his vehicle next, Forgey said.
Daytona Beach police Sgt. Mike Griffin told the News-Journal that the suspect's preference was the road course races such as the Rolex 24 at Daytona, because they make it easier for a burglar to get in and out of the motor homes and trailers because racing team crew members are usually locals hired just for that race. "If they saw him standing around one of the trailers (and didn't recognize him) they probably thought he was just one of the crew members," Griffin said. At the 2012 Daytona 24, racer Lance Willsey was one of Sanders' alleged victims; Willsey left his trailer closed, but not locked, and went to the pit area. When he returned, he found his wallet and $800 in it both gone. After reporting his credit cards stolen, police found the surveillance videos showing the suspect using the stolen cards.
Sanders was charged in Gainesville with grand theft, burglary and providing false information to law enforcement, with bond set at $45,000. In addition, a Florida judge signed a warrant to have Sanders brought back to Volusia to face charges in Willsey's case and another 2010 Daytona theft.
According to an e-mail from Historic Sportscar Racing, anyone who's been a theft victim at Road Atlanta can contact the Hall County, GA detective working those cases, Joe Marriotti at 770.531.6879. HSR also reminded "...as always, please do not leave your paddock area unlocked when unattended."
Life is Good!