Car stolen during test drive from private seller

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Credit: Christopher Leman

A man takes a car on a test drive and then drives off in it. Now, authorities need your help identifying the driver. This unfolded along Youngquist Road in Lee County.

The owner was selling the car to have extra money during the holidays.

Christopher Leman was showing his Audi S4 to a prospective buyer outside his home on Sunday. But, the man shown in the black hat and shirt had other ideas.

“He blended in like he was my best friend. But, by the time it was all said and done, he was my worst enemy,” said Leman.

The man told Leman he wanted to buy the car and give it to his son. After going for a test drive, then decides to stop by a local mechanic shop on Youngquist Road in Lee County, just past south Fort Myers, to show the car to a friend. Well,

Well, that friends never showed up. Then, the man asked Leman a strange question. “‘You think I can do like a burnout?’ I’m like, ‘a burnout?’ Like I was thinking, what are we 10 years old again?” said Leman.

He claimed he was going to do that burnout along the street, but that’s not what happened.

“He goes straight like he’s going to go left, but then he—boom!—takes off right onto 41,” Leman said. “This is like the video game ‘Grand Theft Auto.'”

When the man took off, Leman and his pregnant wife attempted to follow him. “He was reaching up to 130 plus miles an hour. He was weaving in and out of traffic like a madman,” he said.

But Leman knew he had to stop the chase to protect his family. Leman said, “I don’t care if the car’s worth a million bucks. I don’t even care to continue searching for him.”

Now, Lee County Sheriff’s deputies are continuing the search for that driver. They spotted him in Gateway along Daniels Parkway.

Trish Routte works with Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers. “It was headed east like it was heading towards Lehigh. But since then, it has fallen off the radar,” Routte said.

Leman just wants to make sure the guy who took his car is put behind bars. “That’s the only enjoyment I’ll get out of this whole situation,” he said.

If you have any information about the man who took Leman’s car, you are being asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.

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