January 21, 2014

Man steals car, burns it, carjacks another car

A Key Largo man went on a crime spree, stealing his daughter’s car, burning it then stealing a car from another man who was gassing up his vehicle at a nearby gas station. The suspect was finally apprehended in Maryland, but injured himself during the apprehension.

50 year old Robert Hoffman of Ryan Avenue in Key Largo reportedly stole his daughter’s 2007 Ford Fusion while she was working an overnight shift. She said she was sleeping after work Friday morning just before 10 a.m. when Hoffman entered her bedroom. She said he threw her car keys at her, saying “I just blew up your car”. When she went outside, her car was on fire. She told Detective Yunier Galvez Hoffman had been on a multiple day drug and alcohol binge.

Hoffman fled from the house. Just minutes later, Sheriff’s dispatchers received a call from a man at the Tom Thumb store at the 104 mile marker. He said he’d just fought with a man who had stolen the car he was driving, a 2001 Mercury sedan. The car belonged to the man’s roommate. He said the man – later identified as Hoffman – ran up to him, threw him to the ground and yelled “I’m stealing your car”. He said he fought with Hoffman, who jumped in and drove off in the car with the pump handle still in the gas tank.

A notice to be on the lookout for the car was issued and the car was entered into both state and national crime computers as stolen. On Saturday afternoon, the stolen car was located after the license plate was read going through a tunnel on I-95 in Maryland.  Law enforcement attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle, which refused to stop. It crashed after an eight mile chase. Hoffman, who was driving, fled on foot and, before he was apprehended, he cut his own neck. He was airlifted to a downtown Baltimore City hospitial for medical care.

He faces possible charges of two counts of grand theft auto, carjacking and felony criminal mischief.

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