Deputy Pedro Garcia was on patrol at 11:30 p.m. when he saw a green Mazda 626 with a tag light out. He saw the car stop at the Tom Thumb convenience store at the 102 mile marker; two people got out and went into the store. They then exited the store quickly and got into the car. The car traveled a short distance to the Circle K convenience store. The occupants went into the store, then exited quickly getting back in the car and leaving the parking lot northbound.
The deputy followed the car, intending to pull it over to check on its occupants. The car suddenly pulled off the highway, into the Twin Lakes subdivision. A few minutes later, Deputy Garcia found the vehicle abandoned.
Back up deputies responded and began searching the neighborhood. They detained several subjects who were walking around the area and could not explain why they were there. The subjects detained included three juveniles, an 18 year old Key Largo teen and 20 year old Evelio Monteagudo of Tavernier.
A check on the vehicle revealed it was stolen from Miami. Upon questioning, the teens all said Monteagudo was driving the car and they were all passengers. They said they stopped at the two stores to purchase cigarettes, but were unable to because they had no identification. They all admitted to smoking marijuana in the car while Monteagudo was driving. A plastic bag with marijuana inside was found in one of Monteagudo’s pocket.
Monteagudo was arrested. He was charged with grand theft of a vehicle, driving with no license and possession of marijuana and he was booked into jail.