A Pomona man was charged Friday after he allegedly stole an armored combat vehicle from a U.S. Army center in Upland and led police on a brief pursuit through residential streets, federal officials said.

Armando Garcia, 29, went into the Army Reserve Center in Upland on Nov. 9 and drove away in a Humvee worth more than $200,000, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Pomona officers later spotted the military vehicle, launching a high-speed pursuit that involved the suspect running red lights and driving on the wrong side of the road before he was ultimately taken into custody on East Kingsley Avenue, officials said.

Garcia was already on parole for a theft and burglary conviction from last year, according to the Attorney’s Office.

On Friday, he was charged with theft of United States government property and faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison if convicted of the charged.

After he was arrested, officers found a large pair of bolt cutters inside the Humvee and discovered that the padlock used to secure the steering wheel’s steel wire appeared to have been cut, officials said.

Garcia is expected to be turned over to the federal authorities later this month.

This FBI’s San Gabriel Valley Safe Streets Task Force is investigating the incident.


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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