Stolen semitruck cab found in Hastings

Truck's owner says cab had little damage

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – The cab of a semitruck that was stolen sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning at the TA Travel Center on West County Road 210, near Interstate 95, was found abandoned several days later in Hastings. 

The truck's owner, Paul Mattiace, on Wednesday told News4Jax that the cab was recovered with little damage.

"It had the keys to my house, my pickup, my toolbox keys, my printer, my Wi-Fi, my clothes, refrigerator," Mattiace told News4Jax by phone Monday. "It's almost like a home invasion because you live in the truck."

Mattiace said he had been parking at the truck stop for three years without any problems, but when he left the truck Saturday and returned Sunday morning, the truck bed was still there but the cab was gone. 

News4Jax also spoke with other truck drivers, who said they never leave their trucks anywhere overnight for this reason.

"I've had my problems. I've also had a truck stolen," said Doug Majewski, who has been driving a truck for more than four decades. 

Caroline DiPiano, who's been a truck driver for three decades, explained the motive behind stealing a cab.

"Money. They take it to Mexico. They have the serial numbers changed and you'll never know it's the same truck," DiPiano said. "I know too many thefts that have happened throughout the years."

Mattiace said he just hopes the person who stole the cab makes better decisions in the future. 

"We're going to pray for him and hope that the good Lord changes his ways," Mattiace said. "He must be in pretty bad shape to have to take from people to make a living. He ought to try it the honest way."