Ruskin man carjacks woman as she digs in purse to give him change, deputies say

It started when Raul Perez asked a woman for 50 cents, then shoved her, stole her keys and her car, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. He was captured while “undressed.”
Raul Perez, 30, was arrested on a charge of carjacking, deputies said. [Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]
Raul Perez, 30, was arrested on a charge of carjacking, deputies said. [Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]
Published February 13
Updated February 13

RUSKIN — A man assaulted and carjacked a woman Tuesday as she dug into her purse to give him change, deputies say He was captured soon after the incident when deputies said his attempt to hide went awry: He fell through a ceiling wearing his boxers.

The incident took place at about 11:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Dollar General at E 2015 College Ave., according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Raul Perez, 30, approached the woman and asked for 50 cents. When she reached into her purse to retrieve the change, deputies said Perez pushed her backwards, grabbed the keys from her hand as she stumbled back and drove off in her 2014 Ford Escape.

He drove west on College Avenue for about 1½-miles before crashing the Ford into a ditch near 18th Street SE, deputies said. Neighbors saw him running into a duplex on the 1700 block of East College Avenue. Perez tried to hide in an attic but deputies said he fell through the ceiling while wearing boxers, after having showered. He was arrested without incident.

The woman identified Perez as her attacker and deputies said they found the clothes he wore during the carjacking, hidden in the kitchen between the stove and a wall.

Perez was booked into the Hillsborough County jail on a charge of carjacking charge and was being held without bail Wednesday, records show.

Records show he served two stints in Florida prison and that he has been convicted of robbery, aggravated battery, petty theft, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance and driving without a valid license.

Contact Tony Marrero at or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.