The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office caught the Big Coppitt Key man they said pulled off a crime spree, complete with a car chase and stealing guns, on Jan. 7.
Adrian Diaz, 20, was arrested Monday on multiple felony charges, having been wanted on a warrant that only begins with grand theft of a silver Lexus stolen from a home on Cudjoe Key and fleeing and eluding police.
“Diaz was spotted numerous times driving the car and each time, managed to elude deputies, refusing to stop and driving dangerously when he fled from them,” said Deputy Becky Herrin, spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives obtained incriminating videos Diaz had taken of himself with the stolen Lexus. His bond is set at $140,000.
In addition to being charged with the warrant for the auto theft and fleeing and eluding, Diaz faces additional charges related to vehicle burglaries that took place between Rockland Key and Bay Point overnight between Sunday and Monday.
Detectives found video from a video surveillance system at the residence on Calle Uno Drive on Rockland Key, where two handguns were stolen from two of the burglarized vehicles. The video showed a vehicle and a suspect in the case entering the two vehicles.
At about noon on Monday, some of the items stolen were found in a Dumpster at the Chevron Station on Big Coppitt Key, along with some other items from other vehicle burglaries that took place in other locations.
At about 1:30 p.m., one of the victims from the burglaries on Calle Uno Drive called detectives to report the same vehicle caught on video burglarizing his vehicle had just turned around at the end of his street and drove past him, almost hitting him. He said a male was driving and a female was a passenger.
The vehicle was spotted at 3:30 p.m. southbound on the Boca Chica Bridge.
Detective David Cruz got behind the vehicle as it entered the city of Key West. He tried to stop the vehicle, which used “evasive maneuvers, turning multiple times and running several stop signs,” Herrin said.
The vehicle was finally stopped on 1st Street. The driver was 20-year-old Priscilla Gartenmayer, of Key West. The vehicle was hers and the passenger was Diaz.
Both of them jumped out of the car and fled on foot, Herrin said, and were soon caught.
Diaz was carrying a backpack. Inside, detectives located three handguns, one of which was stolen from one of the vehicles burglarized on Calle Uno Drive overnight. Also in the backpack was more than 250 grams of marijuana.
Gartenmayer admitted to detectives that she had driven Diaz around the night before, dropping him off in several locations. Those locations coincided with some of the vehicle burglaries which took place overnight, including on Bay Point.
A search of her vehicle turned up numerous items stolen in vehicle burglaries reported to the Sheriff’s Office including a number of debit and credit cards and some house keys, police said.
Diaz faces additional charges including:
Grand theft, two counts grand theft of a firearm, theft, two counts armed burglary of a vehicle, burglary of a vehicle, three counts possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, sale and possession of marijuana.
Gartenmayer faces charges including:
Fleeing and eluding police, burglary of a vehicle, two counts armed burglary of a vehicle, burglary of a vehicle, grand theft, two counts grand theft of a firearm, theft, two counts use or possession of another person’s identification without their consent.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen