2 men arrested after stealing car in Stafford Co., flipping off owner

Two men were arrested Monday after stealing a woman’s car in Stafford County, Virginia, and giving her the middle finger as they fled, authorities said.

According to the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, the two men were gambling at the machines in the Mr. B’s convenience store on Warrenton Road.



The owner of the car said she went into the store to get a cup of coffee around 5:45 a.m., but left her vehicle unlocked and running in the parking lot.

“Two opportunistic thieves used this to their advantage and stole the car while she was in the store,” the sheriff’s office said.

“The victim witnessed the theft and hurried out of the store, only to receive the middle finger from the driver as he fled in her car onto Warrenton Road.”

Deputies responding to the area “recognized the dishonest duo as Gary Wood, Jr., 32, and Jerry Howell, Jr., 54,” because the pair had allegedly been trespassing at the Red Roof Inn across the street before the car theft.

The stolen car was found in Spotsylvania and deputies attempted a traffic stop on Interstate 95, but Wood and Howell fled into the construction zone near mile marker 130 and crashed.

Wood, the passenger, was taken into custody.

Howell, the driver, fled on foot. He was taken into custody just after noon by Fredericksburg Police in a Wegman’s grocery store.

Wood is charged with conspiracy. Howell is charged with grand larceny, conspiracy and driving revoked.

Both are being held without bond.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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