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Bait car helps Hernando deputies nab theft suspect

BROOKSVILLE — After a Lacoochee man broke into a Sheriff's Office bait car and nearly ran over an investigator, a report says authorities arrested the suspect Saturday because of an off-duty deputy's quick thinking.

Watching from the woods, authorities say they noticed Andrew Rae Clark, 27, steal a laptop computer from a car Hernando County deputies had planted in a Brooksville Rail to Trails parking area. Deputies planned the sting because of recent vehicle burglaries in that area.

Deputies tried to nab Clark, the report stated, but he got into a waiting truck with a rebel flag on its front bumper and sped off, almost hitting a deputy.

Off-duty Hernando Deputy Vincent Spallino was driving on nearby Croom Road when authorities say the fleeing Clark drove up behind him. Spallino took photos from his phone as Clark passed him.

Later, Spallino learned the vehicle he photographed matched the description of the one that fled from deputies. Authorities say they tracked the vehicle and arrested Clark inside a house at 26350 Seidel St.

The report said Clark admitted to burglarizing eight vehicles in that area. He is being held without bond as authorities continue the investigation.

John Woodrow Cox can be reached at 352-848-1432 or

Bait car helps Hernando deputies nab theft suspect 02/14/11 [Last modified: Monday, February 14, 2011 10:57pm]
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