Anthony Jackson was hired to wash and detail tow trucks. Some of what he did to, in or with those trucks instead, according to Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies: got pulled over for illegally driving one; locked the owner out of one when the owner tried to retrieve it; smashed one into the owner’s vehicle; and planned to hold one for ransom.
Jackson, 24, of Spring Hill, faces burglary and grand theft auto charges. Tyreece Germe, 23, whom deputies identified as one of Jackson’s accomplices in the tow truck misadventures, also faces a grand theft auto charge.
The victim, the owner of a tow truck company in Citrus County, hired Jackson in early February, deputies said. When Jackson took too long to do the work, the owner fired him and told him to return the truck he was working on.
After some resistance, deputies said, Jackson agreed to meet the owner on Thursday to hand off the truck. But on his way there, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper stopped Jackson because he lacked the proper license to drive the truck. The trooper told Jackson to leave it parked on U.S. 19 in Spring Hill with the keys inside so the owner could retrieve it.
When the owner arrived, though, the truck was locked.
Driving drove back to Citrus County, the saw another one of their tow trucks. Deputies said Jackson and two other men were inside it.
The owner chased the truck down U.S. 19 until both stopped at a red light, deputies said. Then the tow truck reversed into the owner’s vehicle, smashing it into uselessness. The tow truck fled the scene.
Deputies tracked down Jackson and Germe when they returned to the first truck, the one the owner had been locked out of. Both said they thought they had permission to take that truck, deputies said. But Jackson admitted to stealing the other tow truck, along with Germe and a man identified only as Chris.
He told deputies that the trucks’ owner owed Chris money, so the men plotted to hold the truck for ransom, deputies said.
Deputies haven’t found Chris yet, they said Thursday. But the owner got the trucks back.