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In a bizarre twist of fate, a Florida man was apprehended after stealing a car and then inadvertently calling its owner for assistance. The incident, which unfolded in the early hours of Thursday morning, has left both law enforcement and the public astounded.

The unusual sequence of events began when 25-year-old Jason Thompson allegedly stole a 2015 Honda Civic from a parking lot in downtown Tampa. According to the Tampa Police Department, Thompson had been wandering the area looking for an opportunity when he noticed the car with its keys left inside.

Taking advantage of the situation, Thompson drove off, believing he had made a clean getaway. However, his lack of familiarity with the car soon led to complications. After driving a few miles, he realized he was running low on gas and struggled to locate the fuel cap release.

In a moment of desperation, Thompson decided to call for help—but not just any help. Searching through the car, he found a business card with the owner’s contact information. Thinking he could outsmart the situation, he called the number under the pretense of being a good Samaritan who had found the car abandoned.

The car’s owner, Sarah Watson, was initially relieved to receive the call, thinking her vehicle had been found. However, as the conversation progressed, she became suspicious of Thompson’s inconsistent story and peculiar questions about the car’s features.

Watson cleverly agreed to meet Thompson at a nearby gas station, while simultaneously alerting the Tampa Police Department. Officers quickly set up a sting operation at the location.

As soon as Thompson arrived and began discussing the car with Watson, plainclothes officers moved in and apprehended him. He was taken into custody without incident and now faces multiple charges, including grand theft auto and attempting to defraud.

Sergeant Mark Reyes of the Tampa Police Department commented on the case, saying, “This is certainly one of the more unusual car thefts we’ve encountered. The suspect’s decision to contact the owner directly was both bold and foolish. We’re grateful for Ms. Watson’s quick thinking and cooperation, which led to a swift resolution.”

Residents of the area were amused and relieved by the story’s outcome. “You can’t make this stuff up,” laughed local resident Tom Johnson. “It’s good to know the police and the car owner were able to handle the situation so effectively.”

Thompson is currently being held at the Hillsborough County Jail, awaiting his first court appearance. The incident serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of crime and the importance of staying vigilant.

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