Suspected car thief arrested while viewing solar eclipse, deputies say

Man arrested in Kissimmee Harbor Freight parking lot

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Stealing a car and leading deputies on a chase wasn't about to stop one man from seeing Monday's total solar eclipse, according to authorities.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said Jocsan Feliciano Rosado, 22, stole a vehicle and was being pursued by the department's auto theft unit when he parked at Harbor Freight on Osceola Parkway in Kissimmee.

Deputies said Rosado bought a welder's mask with blue flames on it from the store and used it to view the eclipse as he stood in the parking lot next to the stolen car. That's when deputies made the arrest.

"He didn't have a clue that they were even walking up to him," Jane Watrel, with the Orange County Sheriff's Office, said. "He was so absorbed looking at the eclipse. He had no idea he was being tracked or that officers were going to walk up and make an arrest. It was easy, textbook and they got their man."

Rosado is charged with third-degree grand theft. If convicted, he would face up to five years in prison, which would get him out in time for the next eclipse in 2024.

"He never saw it coming," the Sheriff's Office wrote in a Facebook post. "That only happens every 99 years."
Detectives calling it a gift, having a suspect completely unaware of the arrest that was about to happen.

Watrel said that although many found it amusing, that behavior on the streets is dangerous.

"People who steal cars are dangerous people," Watrel said. "Detectives are always very wary and anything can happen on the streets of Central Florida."

As for the welding helmet with an auto-darkening lens that Rosado bought, hardware specialists, along with astronomers, both agree the model purchased by Rosado was not safe for eclipse-viewing.