$20,000 race car stolen inside trailer in Lakeland, police say

Polk County

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A young, enthusiastic racing fan is still coming to terms with the theft of his most prized possessions.

“I was devastated, to be honest. You work so hard for it and it takes a lot of sacrifice to do this stuff,” said Zong Liu, of Lakeland.

He said a trailer, with his $20,000 Florida Wheelman Series race car and racing gear inside, was stolen from a south Lakeland parking lot on South Pipkin Road in June.

Courtesy Zong Liu

“I couldn’t believe it, really. It had a lock on it!” he said.

Surveillance video captured a UHaul truck pull up to the trailer and back up towards the trailer then the video stops.

“For this particular case, we’re not sure if they took it for the trailer, not knowing the car was inside,” said Robin Tillett, a Lakeland Police spokesperson.

According to Lakeland police, the trailer was found empty in a Tampa Steak’n’Shake parking lot on June 29.

Courtesy Zong Liu

“Certainly that was processed for evidence, possibly DNA. Right now, it stands as an open investigation we’re still working,” said Tillett.

Liu has a message for the person, or people, who stole his car.

“Chances are you ain’t gonna race it so return it back to the rightful owner. Drop it off somewhere, maybe a ditch or somewhere so the cops can find it and I can get my stuff back,” he said.

Lakeland police ask anyone with information to contact Detective Wayne Marrone at 863.834.8963 or wayne.marrone@lakelandgov.net.

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a reward can contact Heartland Crime Stoppers Florida at 1-800-226 TIPS (8477), visit the website www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com and click on “Submit A Tip,” or download the free “P3tips” app on your smartphone or tablet.

Tipsters will always remain anonymous when sending a tip through Crime Stoppers and could be eligible for a cash reward if the information leads to an arrest.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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