He thought homeless shelter people were after him. So, he stole a utility truck, cops say

A Hollywood man is in jail in the Florida Keys after police say he stole a truck from a local utility Monday night and drove off after smashing through the property’s fence.

He admitted to stealing the Ford work truck, and said he did it to get away from people he thought were coming after him in Key West, said Adam Linhardt, spokesman for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

Larry Eugene Williams, 36, arrived at the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority’s lot at 5101 College Road after riding a bicycle away from the Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter for homeless people less than a mile away on the same road, according to a Monroe County Sheriff’s Office arrest report.

He hopped the fence of the FKAA lot and got into the truck, which had the keys in the ignition, he told Deputy Anthony Lopez, according to the arrest report. He drove the truck through the fence and headed north.

Lopez pulled Williams over around 10:40 p.m. in Sugarloaf Key, about 20 miles north of where the truck was stolen, according to the report. Lopez ordered Williams out of the truck, and as Williams walked toward the deputy with his hands raised, he said, “I stole the car,” the arrest report states.

Williams told Lopez he became frightened after the woman who runs the homeless shelter said to him, “Don’t worry, you’re time is almost up.”

Lopez wrote in his report: “He stated, he continued to drive because he believed people were chasing him.”

The truck had significant front-end damage, which Lopez stated in his report seemed fresh.

Another deputy arrived shortly after the traffic stop. Linhardt said that when a car passed the scene, Williams asked the deputy, “Did you see that?” He said that the driver of the passing vehicle was one of the people following him.

Williams told the deputies he snorted crystal methamphetamine about five days earlier.

He remains in county jail in Key West on a bond of $9,123 on two counts of criminal mischief, one felony burglary count, one count of felony vehicle theft and a misdemeanor count of driving without a valid driver’s license.

David Goodhue covers the Florida Keys and South Florida for FLKeysNews.com and the Miami Herald. Before joining the Herald, he covered Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.