On Wednesday, February 10, 2021, an Amazon delivery van was carjacked from a residential neighborhood near State Road 60, just east of Bartow, and the man responsible is now in the Polk County Jail.
22-year-old Mario Crawford of Bartow has been charged with: Carjacking without a Weapon (F1), Unarmed Burglary (F2), Grand Theft (F3), Possession of Burglary Tools (F3), Resisting (M1), and Wearing a Mask in Public (M2).
The deliveryman was in the back of his van for a delivery on Kathy Road, when Crawford, who was wearing a ski mask, jumped into the driver’s seat and demanded that the victim get out of the vehicle. Fearing for his safety, the victim complied.
Crawford drove the van to Radford Road and abandoned it.
A resident who lives near the area where the van was abandoned, flagged down a deputy and reported that someone he didn’t know had just entered his home. The deputy went to the man’s home and located Crawford inside a bathroom.
“The delivery man did the right thing by not resisting the unarmed carjacker. The victim didn’t know if Crawford had a weapon on him, and didn’t know what he was capable of doing. He just knew that an unknown man wearing a ski-mask was demanding him to get out, and that was the safest thing to do. He called and reported it immediately, and we were able to catch him soon-after.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff
At the time of Crawford’s arrest, he was on probation for possession of a counterfeit check, forgery, uttering a forgery, and grand theft, so he was also charged for violation of probation by the PCSO.
Mario Crawford’s prior criminal history consists of 17 felonies and 12 misdemeanors, including charges of: burglary, grand theft motor vehicle, aggravated battery, theft, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, dealing in stolen property, fraud, loitering/prowling, resisting, trespassing, and possession of marijuana.