A Pomona man was sentenced Thursday to 34 months in federal prison for stealing a military Humvee from the Army Reserve Center in Upland, officials stated.

A military Humvee worth more than $200,000 that a Pomona man is charged with stealing from Upland on Nov. 9, 2020. (Pomona Police Department.)

Then, he briefly led police on a chase through a neighborhood, officials stated.

          Armando Garcia, 30, was sentenced after he plead 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, according to authorities.

          “[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, officials stated.

          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.

The note on the padlock had secured a steel wire put in place to prevent the turning of the steering wheel.


By Raul

Raul Hernandez is a former journalist. He has worked as a newspaper reporter for more than 30 years at the El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso Times, Press Enterprise in Riverside, California and the Ventura County Star in California. He was a court reporter for more than 20 years.

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