Studio Cameraman is Charged with Stealing News Car

Okay...this one is bizarre, even by TV news standards.

An employee of WPTV in West Palm Beach was arrested for stealing a station news car, but the story is much more bizarre than just that. 

West Palm Police responded to a fight outside a local bar. 

When officers arrived, they spotted several men, including one identified as Tracy Matthews, 44, of West Palm Beach.

He showed a WPTV employee’s identification. And the officers noted Matthews was jittery, overly talkative and was sweating profusely.

While one officer checked on potential suspects, another noticed a Dodge Durango with the WPTV logo parked nearby.

A man sat motionless on the passenger seat, eyes closed.

The officer walked up to the rolled down window and notice a clear crack pipe inside a cigarette pack out in the open. The cop woke up the man, who identified himself as Rafael Novas, 44.

While searching Novas, the officer allegedly found a plastic syringe with an orange cap in Novas’ shorts.

About 1/4 of the syringe was filled with what Novas admitted was heroin.

Novas told the officer he is NOT a WPTV employee, and was arrested. But, he did tell police his buddy picked him up at the drying tank about 6:30 a.m. in the TV van!

Cops called News Director Dan Wilson to check on Matthews. Wilson told them Matthews’ job was inside the newsroom, and he was not allowed to drove company vehicles.

Wilson dispatched reporter Ashleigh Walters and a cameraman to get the car.

According to the incident report, Walters confirmed Matthews is a studio cameraman who is not allowed to leave in a company car.

Police charged Matthews with motor vehicle theft, a felony, and Novas with possession of a controlled substance.

WPTV has so far not reported the story on the newscast.

And yet some of you still wonder why stations are switching to robotic cameras? As far as we know, no robotic camera has been busted for stealing a company car and hanging out with a tweeker.

Just saying.... 

H/T Gossip Extra