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News Story
Updated: 08/11/2017 08:30:03AM

Man charged with stealing from car he hit

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ROOT

By PHIL ATTINGER

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LAKE PLACID — A 31-year-old Cape Coral man, after rear-ending a car Wednesday on State Road 70, has been charged with then stealing $37 out of that car.

Dustin Robert Root now faces charges of burglary of a vehicle and petit theft.

He was also cited for not carrying his driver license, failing to provide proof of insurance and for following too closely. Bond at Highlands County Jail was set at $27,000.

It started just before 11 a.m. when deputies were called to a crash on S.R. 70 at Longleaf Avenue.

They found a Hyundai Sonata rear-ended by a Chevrolet pickup. The driver of the Hyundai was taken to the hospital, but Root — driver of the truck — refused medical treatment.

Arrest reports state that while Deputy Nick Sotherlund was investigating the crash, he saw Root sitting in the front passenger seat of the Hyundai.

When asked, Root told Sotherlund he “wanted to make sure the car was OK.” That struck Sotherlund as odd.

After the driver was transported, Sotherlund had inventoried the Hyundai after the driver was transported and had found $39 in the center console.

When Sotherlund looked again, there were two $1 bills on the front seat, but the rest of the cash was gone.

Sotherlund then switched from a crash investigation to a burglary investigation and read Root his Miranda rights before asking him what happened to the money.

Reports state that Root then produced the $37 that was missing from the Hyundai.

Sotherlund then arrested him, reports said.


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