Local Mother Needs New Car After It Was Stolen and Caught Fire

PARKER, Fla. - Last week Springfield Police arrested a man who stole an SUV that went up in flames after crashing it at Parker Elementary School.

The suspect, Michael George Kahlert, 32, is now behind bars.

However, the vehicle owner Katrina Clarke, 24, is still without her wheels.

"I'm still kind of shocked over this, it's hard to believe," said Clarke. 

"It really hasn't set in but other than the fact when I try to walk outside to get my truck and it's not there," added Clarke.

Her family's only vehicle, an '05 Buick Rendezvous is now charred.

Clarke said it started when Kahlert stole her car from her cousin's home.

She and her husband were loading lawn equipment after finishing some yard work.

That's when her cousin noticed it was missing.

"At first I thought he was playing, but when we walked outside my truck was really gone, so we immediately called the cops," said Clarke.

As she was reporting the theft to police, the stolen SUV passed by.

By the time police caught up to it, the Kahlert had already crashed and left the scene.

They arrested him the next day and charged him with grand theft auto and burglary of a dwelling 

Fortunately, Clarke was able to salvage some of her property.

"We had all the trailer, the equipment on the trailer, and the guy took off with that too. We just luckily got that back," said Clarke.

More importantly, no one was seriously hurt.

"The best part is none of my children happened to be in that truck at the time because I was ready to load them in the truck," said Clarke.

However, being without a vehicle is still a struggle.

"It's unfortunate but I do the best," said Clarke.

Clarke said the insurance company is only covering damage to vehicles the suspect hit while driving her SUV, but they're not covering her vehicle.

She has a 'Go-Fund Me' page, and anyone who'd like to help visit http://gf.me/u/jsnk6

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