When you sail off on a vacation cruise and leave your car behind at a paid parking lot, you expect your ride to be in the same condition when you get back. Just make sure you don’t hand over the keys to anyone at Premier Parking Spot in Cocoa, Florida — particularly Premier’s owner, Jay Nieves.
Jeff Deal, a reporter at WFTV in Orlando, got a tip about unauthorized joyrides at the lot, so he launched an investigation. Deal and his team rented a fire engine-red 2012 Corvette, mounted a BrickHouse Spark Nano GPS Tracker to the frame via the Nano’s optional magnetic case and handed the Vette over to a decoy couple who dropped it at the lot before pretending to board a cruise ship.
Six hours later Deal received a text from BrickHouse’s bhs.net GPS monitoring platform, which alerted him that the Vette was in motion and pinpointed its location. That signaled the news station’s surveillance helicopter and ground teams to start tracking and recording the $60,000 sports car.
The footage was priceless; Nieves was driving the Vette as if it were his own: peeling out on dirt roads, parking it at his home overnight, running errands all over town — even loading it with lumber and letting his dog cavort around on the leather upholstery.
After watching Nieves leave the vehicle unattended with its door open and top down for over 20 minutes, Deal decided to end his investigation. He confronted Nieves about what he had witnessed and even showed the busted parking lot owner recorded footage of the joyride.
Nieves sheepishly denied everything, but he was so utterly, helplessly busted, it made for a great “gotcha” TV moment. The Spark Nano logged over 60 miles of unauthorized cruising.
CNN picked up WFTV’s story and ran it nationally yesterday. According to WFTV’s follow up posts, Nieves abandoned his business as more dirt came to the surface. Apparently, he didn’t have a business license or insurance, and he ran out on his employees without paying them.
As of this post, no one has pressed charges against Nieves, but we’re keeping a close eye on events as they unfold.