Monday, March 2, 2009

Car thief was busted after bragging to 911

A man in Duluth, Minnesota was arrested for stealing a car and repeatedly calling 911 to brag to police that they would not catch him.

Antonio Robledo was suspected of stealing gas from a gas station and fleeing in a stolen car and was captured after an hours-long search early Saturday.

“The suspect apparently was unaware of the tenacity of the police officers involved as they braved frigid temperatures tracking the suspect in the snow, on foot and with a police dog,” a Duluth Police Department news release said. The low temperature in the area reached 18 below zero.

Robledo was booked on charges of gas theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, burglary, tampering with a motor vehicle, trespassing and assaulting a police officer.

Duluth police gave the following account of this weekend’s events: On Friday evening, police responded to a report of a gas theft at the Holiday station on 27th Avenue West. Station employees gave police a license plate number and a description of the vehicle, which turned out to have been stolen from the Lincoln Park/West End neighborhood.

About 2 a.m. Saturday, a Duluth officer spotted the vehicle — a black 2000 Audi — near Lake Avenue and Superior Street. The officer stopped the vehicle near the on-ramp to northbound Interstate 35, but then the driver sped off, hitting a guardrail while entering the on-ramp and turning off the Audi’s lights.

Officers searched for the vehicle, and located it abandoned in a yard. Soon after, the suspect began calling 911 from a cellphone, telling dispatchers that he was “smarter than the police” and would not be captured.

About 4:30 a.m., a homeowner called 911 to report a prowler had entered their garage. Police were conducting their search nearby and within minutes, officers located Robledo in a shed in a yard. Robledo resisted arrest and assaulted two officers, according to police, though “neither sustained significant injury.”

Robledo’s criminal history includes convictions for theft of a motor vehicle and fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle. He has also been charged with financial transaction card fraud and with fifth-degree assault. Robledo was arrested in October 2007 in connection with the string of home burglaries just after crashing a stolen black Audi. (info from The Duluth News Tribune)

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