University Police (UP) arrested former USF student Stephanie Dawn Moore on Thursday for stealing a student’s car from the fourth floor of the Collins Boulevard Parking Facility.
UP received a call at 3:23 p.m. Thursday from a USF student who said she thought she saw her friend Heather Bradley’s stolen 2006 burgundy Ford Mustang in parking Lot 8B north of the Richard A. Beard Parking Facility, UP spokeswoman Lt. Meg Ross said.
UP “coordinated surveillance” on the vehicle and watched as Moore approached Bradley’s car at 4:48 p.m. and drove away in it, Ross said.
Before Moore left the lot, UP pulled her over and made the arrest, Ross said.
Moore was charged with grand theft auto, a third degree felony, and grand theft in the third degree after more than $300 worth of stolen items were recovered from the car, Ross said.
Moore, who was arrested in March by the Tampa Police Department for driving with a suspended license, was also charged for three outstanding warrants from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for driving with a suspended license and two counts of unlawful use of a temporary tag, according to the arrest affidavit.
Moore is being held at Orient Road Jail as of Sunday. Her original bond was $5,500, but it was reduced to $4,750 Friday. The case has been turned over to the state attorney’s office for prosecution, Ross said.
According to the USF Registrar’s Office, Moore enrolled at the University in fall 2008 before dropping out.
She was also charged with trespassing, Ross said. If an individual receives a trespassing warning, they are arrested and charged with trespassing if they return to the University.
Moore was given a trespassing warning on Feb. 23 after she was found sleeping in her car, Ross said.
On Monday, Bradley, a senior majoring in biomedical sciences, reported to UP that her backpack had been stolen. The bag contained her car keys, her wallet, student ID, driver’s license and birthday gift cards, among other items.
Bradley said her birthday was Sept. 13 – the day before her car and backpack were stolen. She closed all of her credit cards Monday, but Moore spent some of Bradley’s gift cards before she was arrested.
She said her laptop, iPod nano, clothes, purse and textbooks were in her car prior to the theft, but her iPod and clothes were still missing when UP arrested Moore.
Inside the trunk of her recovered car, Bradley found directions on how to hack into her laptop, which is password protected.
During the investigation and just two days after she reported her car stolen, Moore wrote a message on Bradley’s Facebook profile.
“I read about your car in the Oracle (Wednesday), I’m so sorry,” Moore’s post said. “I hope you find it and severely press charges on whoever did it.”
Bradley said she usually doesn’t add people on the social networking site if she doesn’t know them. Bradley said she was shocked when she found out who Moore really was.
“I couldn’t believe that she had added me on Facebook,” Bradley said. “When she wrote on my wall I thought, ‘I don’t even know this girl … this is kind of weird.'”
Bradley was studying on the fifth floor of the Library on Monday where she left her backpack under the desk she was using while going to the bathroom for a few minutes.
“I noticed there was this creepy person covered up with a sheet behind me, but I thought it was just a student sleeping,” Bradley said. “I didn’t even really think about it.”
When Bradley returned, she realized her backpack was gone. After reporting her bag stolen to UP, Bradley discovered her car had also been stolen.
A video camera in the Collins Boulevard Parking Facility recorded Moore driving away in Bradley’s car between 11:50 a.m. and noon, Ross said.
Bradley said she used a rental car and Parking and Transportation Services gave her a “courtesy pass” so she could use student parking. Bradley said she felt “violated” after her belongings were stolen.
“I can’t even describe the feeling, my mind was blown,” Bradley said. “It’s just crazy to think that somebody would go and take all of your stuff that you worked so hard for.”