EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 12, 2012

Police: Men capture boy who stole car

LAWRENCE — Two men last night captured a 15-year-old boy who stole a car belonging to the wife of one of them, according to police.

The 1997 blue Honda Accord was reported stolen from 700 Essex St. on Sunday by the owner, Isaura Vargas, 25, of 385 Hampshire St., according to a report filed by Patrolman Mark Panagiotakos.

Late yesterday afternoon, Alberto Delacruz, 27, of 3 Community Ave., saw the Honda Accord parked near his home, Panagiotakos wrote. He recognized that it was the car that had been stolen from the wife of his friend, Juan Martinez, 34, of 385 Hampshire St., police said.

Martinez and Delacruz then went to Providence Street, where they restrained the 15-year-old suspect, who was sitting behind the steering wheel, Panagiotakos wrote. An unknown male passenger was able to run away, but Martinez and Delacruz held the suspect, who fought them, police said.

The 15-year-old’s sister and mother intervened and tried to pull Martinez and Delacruz away from him, according to the officer’s report. Just then, Panagiotakos and other officers arrived, shortly before 7 p.m..

The suspect, his mother and sister said the two men were hitting him, Panagiotakos wrote. A witness, Julio Vallejo, 30, of Paterson, N.J., told police the men did not strike the boy.

The boy did not have any signs of being struck, but Martinez and Delacruz appeared to have been involved in a struggle, Panagiotakos wrote. The boy was arrested and charged with larceny of a motor vehicle and released to his mother at 7:30 p.m.

The ignition of the Honda was damaged and wires were strewn across the front seat, according to Panagiotakos’ report.

Juveniles commit many of Lawrence’s car thefts, police Chief John Romero said. The Honda Accord, he added, is the “vehicle of choice” of numerous teenage car thieves.

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