Bonita Springs man charged with vehicle theft, hit-and-run
An 18-year-old man faces multiple charges after stealing someone’s vehicle while they were paying for gas, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said.
Marcos Maximiliano Lorenzo-Juan was arrested after stealing Robert Fuentes work truck, a blue 2008 Dodge 2500, at the Speedway gas station on 27001 Old 41 Road March 6. Lorenzo-Juan jumped into the drivers seat while Fuentes was paying for gas and drove off, officials said.
Fuentes’ employees, Joel Arizmendi and Nestor Reyna, saw Lorenzo-Juan drive off in the stolen vehicle, so they followed him in their own work truck down South Tamiami Trail, officials said.
“We didn’t think about it, we just went after them,” Arizmendi said. “Thank God nobody got hurt.”
When Lorenzo-Juan came to a stop at the intersection of East Terry Street, Arizmendi jumped in the bed of the stolen Dodge truck and began yelling at the driver to pull over, the arrest report said.
“It was crazy. It was like something you’d see out of ‘Lethal Weapon,’ like how they jump in the back and ride until they stop the bad guy,” Arizmendi said.
Lorenzo-Juan continued driving north on South Tamiami Trail while weaving in and out of lanes while Arizmendi was in the bed of the truck, officials said.
Arizmendi told officials that he laid down in the bed of the truck to avoid being ejected from the vehicle.
“He put the truck sideways, to try and get me out of the back of the bed, and he had no luck on that,” Arizmendi said. “I laid down in the back of the bed, and prayed to God to take care of me, and he did.”
Lorenzo-Juan attempted to drive through stopped vehicles and hit four cars, resulting in the stolen Dodge truck to sustain significant damage and forcing it to come to a final stop, officials said.
“He hit his brakes, which I think saved a lot of people,” Arizmendi said. “If he wouldn’t have hit his brakes, it would have been the worst.”
Lorenzo-Juan attempted to flee the scene but Arizmendi tackled him before LCSO came and apprehended him, the report said.
When Arizmendi tackled Lorenzo-Juan, he asked him why he stole Fuentes’ truck and he said someone paid him to steal it, the arrest report said.
Lorenzo-Juan is still behind bars tonight and faces several charges, including hit-and-run and vehicle theft.