PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Rufus Rhoden said just before midnight Wednesday night, he stepped outside his Port St. Lucie home to fill his wife's gas tank.
"I came out the door, and the car was parked at the end of the driveway," he recalled.
He was surprised to see the car's interior light was already on.
"At first, I thought maybe my wife had gone out to the car," said Rhoden. "But he popped his head up, and I saw it was a man. "
Police said Scott Kosakowski of Port St. Lucie was rummaging around Rhoden's vehicle.
"He was leaned across the seat," demonstrated Rhoden. "I shut the door on the back of his legs, and opened the door back up and hollered at him. He turned around and came back at me, and I hit him in the face a couple of times. "
Rhoden said after he punched the alleged thief in the face, he demanded back what Kosakowski had stolen. Kosakowski returned the $0.75 he had reportedly taken from Rhoden's car.
Acting Sgt. Robert Loupe with the Port St. Lucie Police Department said Kosakowski had random stolen items stashed in his scooter, things like flashlights, condoms, a battery and even silly putty.
"This gentleman had quite a few small items, but he obviously had hit several cars in the area," said Loupe. "It adds up over time. If this kid hits 10, 15 cars during the night, he could walk away with a couple hundred dollars. "
Rhoden said it's ironic that Kosakowski has thousands of dollars of bond fees, now that he's in jail facing multiple charges—all over three quarters.
"It was just 75 cents was all he had from my vehicle," said Rhoden. "I had a GPS in there, I had a debit card lying on the seat, and he apparently managed to miss all that and was going for the change. "