Sheeley: Proposal to Jail Victims of Car Theft Is ‘Just Crazy’
Vito Sheeley is running for Florida House District 70.
ST. PETERSBURG – A candidate for the state House of Representatives has branded a proposal to fine and jail victims of car theft as a “crazy” and “embarrassing” idea.
Vito Sheeley was referring to House Bill 927 filed Wednesday (Dec. 6) by state Rep. Wengay Newton, D-St. Petersburg. The proposal would make it a second degree misdemeanor for a driver to leave a key in the ignition of a motor vehicle if the car is stolen by a minor. The penalty would be a fine of up to $500 and/or a sentence of up to 60 days in jail. If a minor did not steal the car, the driver who left the key in the ignition would be guilty of a non-criminal traffic violation, as is currently the case.
“This is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard out of Wengay Newton, and that’s saying a lot,” Sheeley said. “We can have a productive conversation about car theft, but throwing victims in jail is just crazy. It’s time for our community to have a serious advocate in Tallahassee – this is embarrassing.”
Sheeley, a Democrat, is running against Newton for the House District 70 seat in the November election. HD 70 includes southern St. Petersburg and portions of Manatee, Hillsborough and Sarasota counties including Ruskin, Palmetto, and a portion of Sarasota.
Vito Sheeley | House District 70 | Wengay Newton | Car Theft | Politics | Elections | Tampabay News
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