Man arrested after attempting to steal truck with teen inside
TRINITY (FOX 13) - For 13 year-old Shayne Seaton, a split second decision changed everything Sunday night. Shayne was alone insider her parents truck as they shopped inside a Publix in Trinity.
"I stayed in the back, because I was just listening to music," Shayne said.
Five minutes after her parents left, Shayne heard the driver's side door open, and thought it was her dad.
"I hear someone try to fidget with the gear shifter, so I look up, and I thought it was my dad, like trying to pull out, and I said, ‘Mom’s not here yet,’" she said. "And I look up, and it’s not my dad."
The man was 41 year-old Klad Karpuzi, a New Port Richey man with a history of stalking charges out of Jacksonville as recently as February. Shayne knew she had to act quickly.
"So, I quickly jump out of the truck and I’m like, 'Who are you?'" she said.
Shayne said Karpuzi acted as if it was his friend's truck.
“I said, 'Okay, can you get out of my car?'" she said. “Then he gets out, circles around his car, then goes inside.”
Inside the store, Seaton's mother, Stefani, received a frantic call.
"She was a little bit hysterical, crying, screaming," Stefani said. "All I could do was look at my husband and say, 'Go, go, go!' Pointing at the front door, and he didn’t hesitate. He just bolted."
After realizing Karpuzi was inside the Publix, Shayne said her father tracked him down.
“My dad held him up against the soda machine and he said, 'What’s wrong with you? You don’t get into someone else’s truck,'" Shayne said. "And he just, he didn’t say anything.”
Shayne's father and an off-duty law enforcement officer stayed on the scene until Pasco County deputies arrived and arrested Karpuzi. He is charged with grand theft of a vehicle.
Stefani credits her daughter's quick actions with the safe outcome.
“I am very proud of her for thinking as quickly as she did, and getting out of the car and calling us immediately," Stefani said. "Who knows what would have happened at this point,"