A man was arrested Dec. 9 after stealing a woman's car when she left it running while she shopped at a convenience store.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office had responded to a call about a stolen vehicle at a Circle K in Palm Coast.
The victim told deputies she'd left the car running in the parking lot to keep it warm while she went into the store with a child.
When she came back outside, the car was gone.
She could not provide any information on which direction the vehicle went after being stolen, but described a man in a thermal shirt who'd held the door open for her, but then didn't enter the store.
The FCSO Real Time Crime Center tracked the vehicle from the gas station toward St. John’s County.
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office and their RTCC tracked the car into St. Augustine and found it at a gas station on County Road 210.
SJSO deputies arrested 29-year-old driver Blaine Elmore and determined that he'd stolen another vehicle in St. Johns County and driven it to Flagler County, where he abandoned it and exchanged it by stealing the victim’s car.
“This is a great example of why you never leave your car running when you just ‘run’ into a store. Not only is that against the law, but you can become a crime victim of opportunity,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “Our RTCC technology is catching criminals. I want to thank SJSO who assisted in apprehending this guy, and the great work of the Real Time Crime Center, our Communications Center, and all the deputies involved. Let this also be a reminder to secure your cars and never leave your keys inside your car or in the ignition!”
Elmore has a criminal record that includes previous arrests in St. Johns County for: Arson, Criminal Mischief, Resist Officer with Violence, Aggravated Battery, Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Trespassing, Sale of Cocaine, and Cruelty Towards a Child.
He was arrested for two counts of Grand Theft Auto and Driving While License Suspended. He is being held at the St. John’s County Jail on a $5,500 bond.