Elisha Payne Clark stole the car out of the Publix parking lot on Beach Village Drive.
Story courtesy of the FCSO's Shannon Martin
Flagler Beach Police Department officers arrived at the Publix on Beach Village Drive on Oct. 7 in response to a stolen rental vehicle. The victim reported to officers that she had left the vehicle running in the parking lot while she went inside the store and when she came back, she witnessed three suspects enter the car and drive off.
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office deputies assisted with the call. Further investigation found that the rental company had installed a GPS tracker on the vehicle and was able to pinpoint the car’s location to a residence on Forest Grove Drive in Palm Coast. Deputies found the vehicle parked in front of the home and saw a man and two women exit the car.
Deputies witnessed the man throw a large amount of cash onto the ground. Deputies gave verbal commands for all three suspects to stop, to which they complied and were detained.
When deputies questioned the driver, Elisha Payne Clark, 21, he explained that he lives at the Forest Grove Drive residence and that the vehicle was simply left in front of his home by one of his “home boys.” He did not disclose a name.
Clark said he only entered the vehicle to smoke marijuana and that he owns nothing that may be inside of the car.
Deputies interviewed the two female passengers who said they were at the house to pick up their belongings and when they arrived, he was inside the vehicle.
During the search of the vehicle, a backpack was located on the driver’s floor board where Clark was sitting. Inside the backpack was a digital scale, 129 grams of marijuana, three Hydrocodone pills, tablets of ecstasy and more than $800 in cash.
“This is another great example of how neighboring agencies and technology can come together to stop crime,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “This is a guy who obviously has not learned his lesson and has no respect for the law or the property of others. It is poetic justice that the car he stole led us right to him and his drugs."
Clark was arrested and taken to the Flagler County Jail. He was charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, among other charges. He is being held on a $9,000 bond.
The two passengers were released from the scene.