Car thief sentenced to county jail

A homeless man from Illinois arrested for stealing a car with the keys in it was sentenced to one day less than one year after changing his plea.

Represented by Assistant Public Defender Kristine Koo, David Allan Sweeney, 46, pleaded no-contest in September to charges of vehicle theft, obstructing an officer and driving on a suspended license — the same charges he pleaded not guilty to in May.

Assistant State Attorney Alexandra Crittenden represented the prosecution.

Twelfth Circuit Judicial Judge Edward Nicholas accepted Sweeney’s open plea Nov. 5, and ordered him to serve 11 months and 29 days in the Manatee County jail, with credit for time served, and a one-year suspension of his driver’s license.

Sweeney has been in jail since April 24, arrested by the Bradenton Beach Police Department after officers stopped the stolen vehicle in the 100 block of Third Street South for a traffic violation.

Sweeney pulled the vehicle over and then fled on foot. He was detained by police at Gulf Drive and Third Street South, according to BBPD reports.

According a BBPD probable cause affidavit, Sweeney told police he stole the vehicle from Longboat Key because he found the car with the keys left in the ignition.

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