Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man charged in gas station carjacking

TAMPA — A man out of prison a month stole a Honda from an elementary principal as she gassed it up before school Monday, threatening to kill her if she told anyone, police said.

He was captured hours later as police closed in with dogs and a helicopter.

Marjorie Sandler, principal of Gorrie Elementary, just down the street from where the crime occurred, was not injured and went to work as usual.

"She was fine," said Linda Cobbe, a Hillsborough County schools spokeswoman.

Sandler, 46, had just finished filling up her Accord about 7:30 a.m. at the Metro Gas station at Kennedy Boulevard and S Boulevard when a man approached.

Tampa police say David E. Cantero, 37, told her he was going to take her car and kill her if she said anything. Fearing for her life, Sandler stepped away.

Cantero took off with her car, attempting to use her credit card throughout the morning, leaving an electronic trail of evidence, according to the police.

Detectives staked out two residences. An undercover detective spotted him near Cleveland Street and S Boulevard, and called for marked units, police dogs and helicopter support to help capture him.

Officers forced the Honda to a stop near an apartment complex at W Horatio Street and Lincoln Avenue around noon. Cantero took off on foot but was caught a short time later.

Cantero of 2942 W Columbus Blvd., No. 210, was charged with carjacking, robbery and fleeing to elude, according to Tampa police. Officials said additional charges are pending.

He is also suspected in the Sunday night robbery of the Tangerine House of Kabob, police said.

According to officials, Cantero walked into the restaurant at 117 W Kennedy Blvd. and asked for change for a $5 and to see a menu. Cantero kept his left hand in his pocket, and when the register opened asked for all the money.

Although he did not show a weapon, the employee feared he had one. She handed him cash and he walked out the door.

Cantero has been arrested before. Previous charges include burglary, grand theft and dealing in stolen property, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Cantero was released from prison April 8 after serving less than a year for a charge of grand theft auto, records show.

Sandler has worked for the Hillsborough school district since 1985. She became principal at Gorrie in 2008.

Jared Leone can be reached at or (813) 226-3435.

Man charged in gas station carjacking 05/10/10 [Last modified: Monday, May 10, 2010 9:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Our president, our protests


    Our president has done more to foster national anthem protests than the protestors.

  2. Trump: Objection to NFL protests 'has nothing to do with race'


    MORRISTOWN, New Jersey — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his opposition to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality "has nothing to do with race" but …

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters upon his return to the White House in Washington, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Trump insisted Sunday that his opposition to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality "has nothing to do with race" but has to do with "respect for our country and respect for our flag." [Associated PRss]
  3. World War II vet, 97, takes a knee in support of anthem protests

    Human Interest

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — On a day when NFL teams grabbed the nation's attention by coordinating demonstrations during the national anthem, a 97-year-old World War II veteran went viral with a solitary show of support for the protests.

    Brennan Gilmore posted a Twitter picture Sunday morning of his grandfather, John Middlemas, kneeling while wearing a veteran's cap. [Twitter]
  4. Florida education news: Shelter duty, charter schools, teacher pay and more


    ON THE JOB TRAINING: Michael Vasallo learns how to run an evacuation shelter on his 21st day as principal of Dunedin Highland Middle School.

    First year principal Michael Vasallo, right, got called into hurricane shelter duty one month into his job.
  5. Forecast: Sunny skies, warm temperatures to rule across Tampa Bay this week


    After periods of heavy rain in some parts of Tampa Bay over the weekend, the region can expect sunny skies, and warm condition to prevail through the workweek.

    [10Weather WTSP]