Owners keep burglar locked in car

March 9, 2010 at 3:41 PM

LAKE CITY, Fla., March 9 (UPI) -- Authorities in Florida said residents who saw a man attempting to steal their car used the vehicle's remote-controlled locking mechanism to prevent his escape.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office said the Lake City residents were alerted to a man trying to break into their car by a neighbor at about 5:40 a.m. Friday and they used the remote control on their keychain to keep the alleged attempted thief from exiting the car, The Gainesville Sun reported Tuesday.

"So every time he tried to get out of the car, the owners just kept hitting the lock button on their key fob, and eventually he gave up trying to get out," sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Ed Seifert said.

Travis James Neeley, 19, was arrested and charged with burglary of a vehicle, possession of burglary tools, criminal mischief and trespassing.

Investigators said another man, Peter Anthony Scandizzo, 25, was seen driving by the scene of the incident and is believed to have been involved in the burglary plot. He abandoned his car after a short chase and was arrested at about 8:30 a.m. in a Lake City home believed to belong to his mother.

Scandizzo was charged with fleeing and eluding, possession of marijuana, possession of burglary tools, loitering and prowling, conspiracy to commit burglary and resisting arrest.

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