By Isaac Ray
A Hollywood man was arrested for grand theft auto after crashing a vehicle he had just stolen from the Coral Square Mall’s parking lot.
On March 6, Coral Springs Police responded to the 700 block of Riverside Drive, where an orange SUV crashed into a tree after striking another vehicle.
According to the report, officers immediately recognized the SUV driver to be Shawn Sample, 28, a man that they had had an interaction with that day when they escorted him from a business because he was causing a disturbance.
Officers stated in the report that it appeared he had a mental illness, and he assured the police he was about to take a bus to Gainesville.
When Sample initially stepped out of the crashed vehicle refused medical attention but changed his mind after being placed in handcuffs, telling the officers the handcuffs caused him injury — not the crash itself.
Having interacted with Sample earlier, officers knew that he did not have a vehicle. They asked him whose car was he driving, to which he replied, “I don’t have the slightest idea.”
When officers asked him how he came into possession of the vehicle, Sample nodded towards the Coral Square Mall and said, “right there.”
Coral Springs Police contacted the vehicle owner, who said her husband dropped it off at the mall parking lot, leaving the keys inside so she could drive it home from work. She had no idea the vehicle was stolen because she was working and only found out when they called her about the crash.
After Sample was medically cleared, officers interviewed him where he admitted to stealing the vehicle, saying he had never stolen a vehicle before that day.
Officers arrested Sample and transported him to the Broward County Main Jail.
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