Southampton Town police say they have tracked down and arrested a man who leaped from a car he stole — while the vehicle was still in motion — and evaded a helicopter, a K-9 unit and officers from multiple agencies.
Carlos Garcia, 21, of Hampton Bays, stole the Mazda from Union Street in Hampton Bays Thursday night, and when he was spotted by SUNY Stony Brook Southampton campus police officers at 8:50 p.m. driving through Shinnecock Hills, he fled, according to town police. He abandoned the car near the Middle Pond Road and Dellaria Avenue intersection, and it kept going, crashing through a split rail fence then into a mooring in a creek that connects with Middle Pond, police said.
Town police called in a Suffolk police helicopter, Suffolk sheriff's K-9 Unit and Southampton Village police to assist in setting up a perimeter and searching for the suspect, but the search was fruitless, and called off at 10 p.m. Thursday.
Then on Monday, police found Garcia and charged him with grand larceny in the third degree, a felony.
Police said they also connected Garcia with an August 2012 theft of a cellphone from an AT&T store on Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays. He was charged with third-degree burglary, a felony. Police said the long burglary investigation and information developed during the grand larceny investigation led them to charge Garcia in connection with the cellphone theft.