Car stolen during test drive


OKEECHOBEE — A man who agreed to give a potential woman buyer a test drive said she pulled a gun on him and told him she needed the car while they were driving down the highway. On Oct. 14 at approximately 5:15 p.m., Okeechobee County Deputy Tyler Cox responded to a call in reference to a stolen vehicle at a local pawn shop. When he arrived, one of the employees told him that a female, later identified as 26-year-old Lauren Whitlow from Valparaiso, Ind., came in and asked to go for a test drive. He got into the driver’s seat, and she got into the passenger’s seat. He said as he was driving, she poked him in the side with something he believed to be a firearm and told him she needed the car. He pulled into the lumber section of Home Depot and told her to take it. She reportedly slid into the driver’s seat and drove away heading northbound on U.S. 441 South.

Okeechobee City Police pulled Whitlow over in the parking lot of Rent-a-Center on State Road 70 East and detained her. No firearm was located.

Whitlow was charged with carjacking with a firearm and operating a motor vehicle without a license. Her bond was set at $50,750.

crime, theft, car