Not A Joke: Florida Democrat Thinks YOU Should Be Punished If A Teen Steals Your Car

Ashley (Kimber)

Democrats are reeeeally freaking good at blaming one person’s crime on someone else entirely.

This case sounds like a parody… but it’s not.

I guess some teens stole a car in Tampa, crashed it, and a few of them died. “Youth” car theft seems to be really rampant there, according to this story.

According to the article above:

The last thing Keondrae Brown remembers before he blacked out is lying in shattered glass on Tampa Road, next to the burning wreckage of a stolen car, lucky to be alive after a high-speed crash that killed his brother and two of his friends.

Now Keondrae and two other boys in a second stolen car could face murder charges in the deaths of Keontae Brown, 16; Jimmie Goshey, 14; and Dejarae Thomas, 16.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri suggested the more serious charges against the surviving teens at a news conference Monday, a day after the Palm Harbor crash once again highlighted Pinellas’ deadly plague of juvenile car thefts.

“We have a serious problem and something else needs to happen,” he said.

Frustrated with the persistent high-speed joyrides and the lack of consequences, Gualtieri shoved his finger into the podium, calling the juvenile system broken. He pointed to the teens’ extensive criminal records — 126 arrests among them, including several for auto theft — as proof that the juvenile system rarely holds a kid for long. No consequences equals no fear of doing it again, he said.

Weeeellllll….. Rep. Wengay Newton (a Democrat) has a VERY different idea. He thinks the person whose car got stolen should be charged.

Yes, really.

According to the Tampa Bay Times:

Left your car running, and a teen stole it?

Some state lawmakers think you should be criminally charged for that.

Rep. Wengay Newton, D-St. Petersburg, this week filed House Bill 927, which would make it a second-degree misdemeanor to leave your car unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition and taking the key from the car. Sen. Perry Thurston Jr., D-Fort Lauderdale, filed matching Senate Bill 1112.

Under Florida statute, a second-degree misdemeanor is punishable with a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail.

“Juveniles are crashing into people, killing themselves,” said Newton, a former St. Petersburg City Council member. “I look back at the beginning and say, but for the keys being left in the vehicle and this crime of opportunity prevailing itself, we wouldn’t have stolen cars and these crashes.”

Currently, people who leave their cars running and unattended can face a citation for a noncriminal traffic violation. That would still be the case, unless the car ended up getting stolen by a juvenile as a result — then criminal charges would come into play.

Newton said his proposal would go beyond running cars to include unlocked cars with the keys left inside, something the current statute doesn’t cover. The bill exempts emergency vehicles, delivery trucks and garbage trucks.

Pinellas County arrested juveniles 499 times for stealing cars in 2015, more than anywhere else in Florida and most places in the country. The problem was the subject of “Hot Wheels,” a recent Tampa Bay Times series that found that most cars stolen by teens were left unlocked by their owners with keys inside. Reporters’ analysis showed that juveniles crashed stolen cars every four days in Pinellas. Eight teen thieves have died in the last two years.

Law enforcement is speaking up about how IDIOTIC this is:

“No,” was St. Petersburg police Chief Anthony Holloway’s reaction to the text of the bill. “They’re already a victim, and we’re going to charge you now? People won’t report it, or they’ll lie to us.”

Clearwater police Chief Daniel Slaughter said he admired Newton’s intentions, but he could not support bringing criminal charges against someone whose car was stolen.

“I don’t think it would be appropriate to charge a victim for a crime,” Slaughter said. “When we’re trying to build trust in the community, it wouldn’t really breed a culture of trust between victims and law enforcement.”

Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri called the measure “too much government regulation and interference in regular lives.”

“Where do we stop? If you leave your front door unlocked and someone breaks into your house, are you now going to be guilty of a crime?” he said.

Bernie McCabe, the state attorney for Pinellas and Pasco counties, said he also was wary of punishing victims. “You’re not supposed to steal cars, period, whether someone left the keys in it or not,” McCabe said.

This is so freaking stupid… and totally typical of the Democrats.

Those teens just can’t help themselves, right? How are they supposed to get to school if they don’t steal cars?