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Suspect steals car from repair lot, leads police on chase


Waco ISD police have arrested a man accused of stealing a car from a repair shop and leading them on a chase early Wednesday morning. 21-year-old Zachary Suarez has been charged with evading police, criminal mischief and driving with an invalid license.

Job Verde, owner of Job's Auto Sales and Tires in East Waco, says Suarez stole a 1992 Buick Le Sabre from his lot just before 4 a.m. Wednesday morning. Verde, who has sold and repaired cars for more than 20 years, says he has never experienced a car theft quite as curious as this one.

He had just finished making more than $250 worth of repairs to the car for a customer before it was stolen.

"When I came over here, I find a hole on the gate and somebody came stole one of my cars from behind my office," Verde said.

He says he contacted the owner of the vehicle when he finished making repairs to it, but she told him she didn't have enough money to pay for it. Verde says he decided to hold on to car until the payment was made.

Verde says that Suarez drove the vehicle so fast through his lot to escape that he destroyed his security gate and fence surrounding his property.

"Those pipes right there are really strong and heavy," Verde said. "So that guy was driving pretty fast to be making a hole in there, and break everything and knock everything down."

Verde says he noticed that none of his other vehicles were tampered with just the one he had finished repairing, which gives him reason to believe there could be something more to the theft.

"So they went straight to that car, get the car, turn around, and took off. So that is kind of weird, that makes me think that maybe she sent somebody to get the car because she was kind of mad, she didn't have enough money to get it out," Verde said.

Suarez eventually crossed paths with Waco ISD police officers at around 8 a.m. near Brook Avenue Elementary. Officers weren't aware that the car had been stolen, but noticed that the car had a flat tire. Officers then attempted to stop Suarez to help him change the tire.

The suspect eventually drove away and led police on a chase before crashing into a tree and power pole just a few blocks away at 19th and Cumberland. Police were able to match the vehicle with the one stolen off of Verde's lot and will investigate the theft further.

"We are trying to determine what exactly what happened with that car, and make sure the owner of the car wants to file charges and that individual may be facing additional charges as well as evading arrest by WISD," Waco police spokesman Patrick Swanton said.

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