The man, 24, had a ski mask and a firearm.
Story courtesy of the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, by Public Affairs Manager Brittany Kershaw.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) responded to Corey Enterprises Lawn and Landscape Inc. located at 14 Hargrove Grade in Palm Coast shortly after 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, June 11, after a white F350 Dump Truck was stolen from the business.
Employees reported that a male walked into an employee-only area of the business, took the keys to the truck, and immediately left the business. The employees did not believe they had ever seen this man before. He drove the truck North on US1 before turning onto I-95 North.
The stolen truck was equipped with GPS software that an employee was able to track. The GPS system had a two-minute delay, but the employee was able to update the suspect’s location and point deputies in the right direction. FCSO notified the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and the Florida Highway Patrol since the stolen vehicle was quickly exiting Flagler County.
The stolen vehicle continued on I-95 Northbound, causing numerous traffic crashes in St. John’s and Duval Counties. The final GPS location showed the truck idling at the Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville. Military and JSO authorities alerted FCSO that they had to deploy a barricade system to prevent the suspect from driving the vehicle into the military base. Officers discovered a ski mask and firearm believed to belong to the suspect inside the stolen truck.
The suspect was taken into custody by JSO officers and military personnel and taken to a local hospital for a medical evaluation. Once cleared by the hospital, the suspect was arrested on an FCSO Warrant for Grant Theft of a Motor Vehicle and Burglary of an Occupied Structure.
The suspect was identified as 24-year-old Rodney Simeon (DOB 4/10/1995). His current address is listed as 130 NW 67th Street in Miami, Florida. There is no known motive at this time for this incident.
“This guy appeared to be on a mission and wasn’t going to let anyone or anything stand in his way,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “We still do not know his intent or what caused him to steal a heavy duty truck and try to force his way onto a Naval base. We appreciate the partnership with our neighboring agencies and our ability to work together to swiftly take this dangerous offender off the street.”
The suspect’s personal vehicle, a black Toyota Corolla with no tag, was left at Corey Enterprises and was on scene when FCSO deputies arrived. The vehicle was secured as evidence and towed to the FCSO impound lot.
The FCSO Domestic Homeland Security Section notified state officials of the incident and the investigation is continuing. Additional charges may be pending from other agencies.