A Racine man is accused of receiving stolen property after he borrowed a stolen SUV from a friend and then crashed it into another car.

Juan Rodriguez, 42, told an officer with the Mount Pleasant Police Department that he was just trying to get to work.

Rodriguez was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent and receiving stolen property. If convicted of both charges, Rodriguez faces up to 13 years six months in prison and/or fined up to $35,000.

Borrowed Car Stolen

According to the criminal complaint, an officer with the Mount Pleasant Police Department responded to a report of a hit and run crash involved two cars. Rodriguez crashed the black GMC Acadia he was driving to a black Ford Fusion at 11:54 a.m. on Friday at 6233 Durand Ave. But when police arrived, he had already driven away. A witness gave a description of the black Acadia and the license plate.

Rodriguez returned to the scene, but then took off again and the officer stopped the car at Highway 31 at Highway 11. But when he ran the license plate, it came back to  a Mitsubishi Mirage. After calling in the vin number from the GMC Acadia, the officer learned that the vehicle was reported stolen.

The officer asked Rodriguez if he had been involved in a car crash, but he said he didn’t recall that. He also told the officer that he borrowed the car from a friend name “JR” after his car broke down. Rodriguez denied putting the license plates on the GMC.

Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch set Rodriguez’ cash bond for $500.

A preliminary hearing has been set for 8:30 a.m. Sept. 15.

 

 

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.