SOUTHINGTON - A Hartford man is facing felony charges after allegedly stealing a car from a Southington driveway in 2017.
Dominique Diaz, 20, was charged after his DNA was found inside the Acura MDX, which was found abandoned in Hartford days after the theft, according to the arrest warrant. The vehicle was less than a quarter mile away from the 20-year-old’s home, police wrote.
Diaz faces charges of third-degree burglary and third-degree larceny.
The car owner on Aug. 6, 2017, reported the vehicle being stolen sometime overnight from his College Avenue driveway. He said it was worth around $10,000.
Police were able to speak to a witness who lives on the same street, who said she saw three to four males get out of a vehicle that was being driven around with no headlights on. She said the suspects were walking up to cars parked in driveways, checking to see if any doors were left unlocked. One of the suspects matched a description of Diaz, according to the warrant.
Five days after the theft, Southington police went to Hartford to speak with investigators there. Hartford police said the vehicle had been seen two days earlier being driven erratically by someone. When the driver noticed police, the suspect took off very quickly. The Acura was later found abandoned.
Police were able to collect fingerprints and DNA from inside the Acura. Investigators sent these samples to the state lab and were notified in October 2018 that Diaz’s palm print matched a print found inside the car, according to the warrant.
Police were later granted a search warrant to collect a DNA sample from Diaz, which matched one of the contributors to the sample that was collected from the Acura, the warrant said.
Southington detectives also found during the investigation that Glastonbury police arrested Diaz in September 2018 on charges of third-degree larceny and third-degree burglary, according to the warrant. In that case, police wrote, he was involved in the theft of a car that was stolen from an apartment complex. The car was later traded to an unsuspecting man through offerup.com, the warrant said.
Diaz is free on a promise to appear. He is scheduled to appear in New Britain Superior Court on Feb. 26.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.