Los Angeles, California - A Pomona man was sentenced Thursday to 34 months in federal prison for stealing a military Humvee from the Army Reserve Center in Upland and then briefly leading police on a chase through a neighborhood.
Armando Garcia, 30, was sentenced by United States District Judge John A. Kronstadt. Garcia pleaded guilty on August 19 to one count of theft of government property. At the time of the offense, Garcia was on parole after being convicted in 2019 in state court on theft and burglary charges.
On November 9, 2020, Garcia stole a militarized High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle – commonly known as a Humvee – that had been secured by a padlock at the Reserve Center in Upland.
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.
“[Garcia] fled, leading the officers on a roughly four-minute high-speed chase during which [Garcia] drove on the wrong side of the road, blew through multiple red lights and stops signs, swerved across the road, and drove through several narrow alleys before ultimately giving up,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum.
Garcia stopped the Humvee in front of a home on a residential street in Pomona and was arrested at the scene.
Inside the Humvee, police found a large pair of bolt cutters and an Army-approved padlock that appeared to have been cut, according to court documents that note the padlock had secured a steel wire put in place to prevent the turning of the steering wheel.
The FBI’s San Gabriel Valley Safe Streets Task Force investigated this matter. The Pomona Police Department is the sponsoring agency of the Task Force and has hosted the task force since its inception in 2008.
Assistant United States Attorney Juan M. Rodríguez of the General Crimes Section prosecuted this case.