Cheyenne Police: Man Arrested After Stealing Running Car, Crashing Into Tree
A transient was arrested Sunday after allegedly stealing a running car and crashing it into a tree, Cheyenne police say.
Public Information Officer Alex Farkas says it all started around 6:45 a.m. when the victim went inside The Donut Shop on Central at 416 Central Avenue to make a purchase and left his car running with the key fob and a gun in the center console.
"During the brief time he was inside, the suspect, later identified as Santos Munoz, 42, a transient, got into the car and drove away," Farkas said in a news release.
Through a geolocation feature, Farkas says the owner could see that the car appeared to be stationary in the 600 block of Pebrican Avenue, but when officers got to the location the car was abandoned and the key fob and gun were gone.
"The owner did not have a spare key and was unable to immediately recover the vehicle," said Farkas.
"He refused tow services and left the car at the location, relying on the geofence to send cellphone alerts if it moved," she added.
Farkas says around 9:15 a.m., the owner received an alert that the car was moving and began relaying location information to officers.
"Around 9:35 a.m. an officer observed the vehicle traveling near the intersection of Morrie Avenue and East 20th Street," Farkas said.
"The officer attempted to make a traffic stop but Munoz refused to yield and began to accelerate initiating a pursuit," she added.
Farkas says Munoz drove recklessly, running a stop sign and at times, traveling in the wrong direction, and eventually crashed into a tree after trying to make a speedy left-hand turn onto Van Lennen Avenue.
Munoz then got out of the car and ran, but officers were able to apprehend him several blocks away from the crash.
"The key fob was found in his possession and the firearm was recovered outside of the crashed vehicle," said Farkas.
Farkas says Munoz was taken to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center for evaluation and then booked into the Laramie County Detention Center on multiple charges, including aggravated fleeing and eluding, two counts of motor vehicle theft, and felon in possession of a weapon, all felonies.