A parolee pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing a military Humvee worth more than $200,000 from an Army Reserve Center in Upland and leading police on a chase.
Armando Garcia, 30, of Pomona pleaded guilty to a federal charge of theft of United States 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, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt scheduled a Dec. 2 sentencing hearing, at which time Garcia will face up to 10 years in federal prison.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court, Garcia stole a militarized High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle — commonly known as a Humvee — on Nov. 9 of last year.
Soon after Garcia drove off with the semi-armored combat vehicle with a turret mount, Pomona Police officers attempted to make a traffic stop of the unlicensed vehicle, according to the complaint.
“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 residence on East Kingsley Avenue in Pomona, where he was taken into custody without further incident.
Inside the Humvee, police found a large pair of bolt cutters and an Army-approved padlock that appeared to have been cut, according to the complaint, which notes the padlock had secured a steel wire that was put in place to prevent the steering wheel from being turned.