WEB EXCLUSIVE: Man arrested for stealing city vehicle

By FRANCISCO E. JIMENEZ
Staff Writer
reporter@sbnewspaper.com

Richard Martinez

Richard Martinez

A San Benito man is accused of attempting, and nearly succeeding, to steal a city vehicle from the City of San Benito Service Center early Friday morning.

At approximately 2:44 a.m., an officer with the San Benito Police Department observed a white F-150 pickup truck exit the service center located on the 900 block of West Stenger Street at a very high rate of speed. The officer engaged in a brief pursuit of the vehicle but the truck was traveling too fast.

“An officer just happened to be driving up to the area,” said San Benito Assistant Police Chief of Operations Michael Galvan. “If you look at the video, the truck comes out of the city shop, crashes through the gate right in front of the officer and he’s got his lights off. The officer just hit the lights and siren and the chase was on. It was just being in the right place at the right time. Because of the high speed that this person was going, the officer felt it was too dangerous to risk his life and other peoples’ lives.”

The suspect vehicle proceeded to travel at a high rate of speed towards Brownsville before it was found abandoned by the Cameron County Sheriff’s Department near Roberta Road. The suspect, identified as 18-year-old Richard Martinez, was also located walking away from the area.

“He’s actually a pretty small, thin guy. He managed to squeeze in through the fence and through a very small opening to gain access to where all the keys were at,” explained Galvan. “His size was basically on his side and got him in there.”

Martinez was arrested on one count of theft of a motor vehicle, evading arrest on a vehicle and burglary of a building. He remains in the San Benito jail pending an arraignment.

“I’m not sure if he was on anything. I don’t think he was. He was just desperate to steal everything that was inside the truck,” Galvan said. “You’re talking about all kinds of equipment and stuff that’s in (the truck). If he can get it from point A to point B and unload all that stuff he probably would have come out pretty good. If you steal a vehicle, even the battery alone could get you a pretty good nickel. You’d be surprised what they’ll do.”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2013/06/14/web-exclusive-man-arrested-for-stealing-city-vehicle/

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