LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A parolee who allegedly stole a military Humvee from an Army Reserve Center in Upland and briefly led police on a chase through residential streets in Pomona was charged Friday with theft of United States government property.
Armando Garcia, 29, was named in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court. Garcia, who was taken into state custody following the police chase on Monday, is expected to be turned over to the federal authorities later this month.
He is currently on parole after being convicted last year in state court on theft and burglary charges, authorities said.
According to the complaint, Garcia stole a $200,000 militarized High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle – commonly known as a Humvee – midday on Monday.
Soon after Garcia drove off with the semi-armored combat vehicle with a turret mount, Pomona police officers saw the Humvee and attempted to make a traffic stop of the unlicensed vehicle, the complaint stated.
“During the pursuit, which lasted approximately four minutes, the Humvee traveled at excessive speeds, drove on the wrong side of the street (in the direction of oncoming traffic), failed to stop at multiple red lights and stops signs, and failed to signal for turns,” according to an affidavit filed with the complaint.
Garcia stopped the Humvee in front of a home on East Kingsley Avenue in Pomona, where he was taken into custody without further incident, authorities said.
A large pair of bolt cutters and an Army-approved padlock that appeared to have been cut were found inside the Humvee, according to the complaint.
If convicted as charged, Garcia would face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.