Pomona man who led police on pursuit in stolen military Humvee pleads guilty

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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.)

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.)

A Pomona man who led police on a dangerous pursuit last year in a Humvee has pleaded guilty to stealing the armored combat vehicle, federal officials said Thursday.

Armando Garcia, 30, went into the Army Reserve Center in Upland on Nov. 9, 2020, and drove away in a Humvee worth more than $200,000, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

Pomona police later spotted the unlicensed military vehicle driving around residential streets and launched into a pursuit.

The brief chase involved the Humvee traveling at excessive speeds, driving the wrong way in the direction of oncoming traffic, and running multiple red lights and stops signs, according to federal officials.

The chase came to an end about four minutes later, when Garcia stopped the military vehicle in front of a home on a residential street in Pomona. He was arrested at the scene.

Police found a large pair of bolt cutters and a damaged Army-approved padlock inside the Humvee, authorities said.

Officials said the vehicle had been secured by a padlock before it was stolen.

Garcia — who was already on parole after being convicted on theft and burglary charges — pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property.

The Pomona man’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Dec. 2, when he will face a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

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