Florida man steals race cars; They were buried (Photos)

A suspect is in custody and a GoFundMe has been set up to help the racing family.

With Hurricane Ian on the way, racer Jeff Stalnaker Jr locked his race cars in the truck. That 44-foot trailer was stolen Friday morning in Ocala, Florida, with two race cars inside and thousands worth of parts.

See photos of the buried race cars below.

Jeff Stalnaker Jr posted on social media: “Please stay tuned! These 2 cars were stolen inside my closed 44′ sometime between Tuesday night and Friday morning!

Surveillance video captured the man hitching a truck to the gooseneck trailer and driving away. Screenshots of the video were posted online with a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

The family posted screenshots of the man, “This is the piece of shit that stole our shit!”

The thief then buried the race cars, tools and parts in a sand pit. To make matters worse, the cars were buried below the water table and soaked in water.

The families conducted their own investigation and were able to recover the cars.

The Racing family conducts its own investigation

The video of the thief went viral. The calls from the community pointed the family in the right direction to solve the crime on their own.

A multitude of calls led Jeff Stalnaker Jr and his family to believe that Alex Herring may have been the man in the video. Stalnaker Jr was able to locate Herring’s employer. While he was talking to his boss, it was hinted that the truck in the video could be a work truck.

Herring’s employer allowed Stalnaker Jr. to see the truck that was at the work site. The truck was determined to be the exact same one seen on surveillance video. The work truck used in the crime was also equipped with a GPS tracking device.

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Herring’s boss helped the family collect the GPS data. They learned that the truck had visited a sand pit at a job site in the middle of the night, during a hurricane no less.

The boss called Herring and told him the family knew he was the one who stole the trailer. He then requested that Herring himself return to the work site to dig up all the equipment. The Stalnaker sat in the woods and watched.

As soon as Herring was deep enough to reach the cars, the police were called.

Jeff Stalnaker Jr and his family comment during the discovery

Since then, the racers have unearthed their stolen cars, parts and pieces estimated at around $200,000. And most of it is badly damaged and now unusable.

When the cars were buried, they were first stacked on top of each other. Add several feet of sand and several thousand pounds flattened the cars.

“So how was your Sunday? Mine was great…I spent 30 hours straight without sleep watching this guy dig up my cars and all my parts! Moral of this story Be careful who you steal from! He may not have gotten them back the way he wanted, but in the end this son of a bitch is going to be gone for a while… just call me Sherlock Holmes!

Jeff Stalnaker added: “On another note…the outpouring of help the racing community has given our family is amazing! To those who stayed and helped, I will not mention your names to keep it quiet, I love you as a family! You are all amazing!”

Brandie Stalnaker posted images after the cars were recovered. She said: “Consequences. What kind of human does this? This is heartbreaking for our family.”

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Related: Prisoner Escapes, Steals Race Car, Gets Caught Again

Alex Herring accused

photo of alex herring
photo of alex herring

The suspect was already on probation for another offense.

Alex Herring is in police custody and has been charged with the crime. He is being held without bail.

A full list of charges:

Herring is now charged with three counts of grand theft auto, two counts of criminal mischief, one count of tampering with evidence, one count of resisting arrest, one count of violating probation, and one count of carrying a concealed firearm without license.

Helping the family rebuild

Since then, this story has gone viral, even catching the attention of NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Brandie Stalnaker has created a Go Fund Me page to help fund the team’s efforts to get back on track.

Go Fund Me states: “After this chain of events, Jeff completely gave up on himself and his careers. His dreams were destroyed.”

“But this community is not going to let that happen. It’s time to help rebuild this dream! We cannot let this tragedy stop not only Jeff’s dreams, but the entire Stalnaker family dreams of doing what he loves, and that is Racing.”

“The outpouring of love and support that he has already received from everywhere is absolutely amazing to see.”

“Jeff is a GREAT donor in the racing community and in the Marion County community, many times without anyone knowing all that he does to support others.”

“Jeff is a selfless leader, who works hard to do for others and to help others build their dreams.”


Click here to view and donate to the GoFundMe page.

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Stolen race car buried in Florida
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Florida man steals race cars and buries them
Florida man steals race cars and buries them
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Race cars buried in Florida sand

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