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Man suspected of stealing truck, leading police chase, found under bed

By BY KAYLA BELL - KBELL@VICAD.COM
Sept. 8, 2011 at 4:08 a.m.

A policeman's face is reflected off the window of a patrol car with the suspect, Luciano Guzman, 20, sits in the back seat.

A Victoria man suspected of stealing a truck and leading police on a chase Thursday afternoon was arrested after police found him hiding under a bed in a home in the 3500 block of Wildwood Street.

Luciano Guzman, 20, of Victoria, is suspected of stealing the white pickup from Regional Medical Lab about 4:20 p.m. Wednesday.

"I thought someone was playing a joke," said Ray Fuentez, courier supervisor at the medical lab, about noticing the truck missing.

But after reporting the truck stolen, Fuentez said he saw the pickup at Sonic Drive-In, 3008 Houston Highway, Wednesday night.

After circling around, Fuentez was unable to keep up with the truck, but he said he advised his employees to be on the lookout.

By Thursday afternoon, one of his employees had seen the truck again, this time at the old Town Plaza Mall, 1502 E. Airline Road.

When Guzman left one of the stores about 1 p.m., police attempted to pull him over, said Sgt. Lee Lemmons, with the Victoria Police Department.

The suspect fled east on Airline Road, eventually ending up circling the neighborhood around Wildwood Street. Lemmons said most of the 5.6 mile chase was not high-speed.

Guzman struck a parked vehicle during the chase, damaging the left front side of the truck.

He then ditched the pickup in the 3500 block of Wildwood and fled between two homes, Lemmons said.

Police set up a parameter around the block, and tenants in all but one surrounding home consented to a search for the suspect, Lemmons said.

The man and two women who did not consent to a police search denied the suspect had entered the house, which they did not own, Lemmons said.

By 2 p.m., however, the home's owner arrived at the scene and allowed the police to enter his house.

Minutes later, police emerged with Guzman, who did not resist after being found under a bed, Lemmons said.

He was arrested on suspicion of felony unauthorized use of a vehicle, felony evading arrest with a vehicle with at least one prior conviction, evading arrest on foot and hit-and-run accident involving more than $200 damage to a vehicle.

The two women inside the home - the suspect's sister Marlene Guzman, 21, and Cynthia Mendoza, 19 - were arrested on theft warrants, Lemmons said.

The Victoria County Sheriffs Office, Texas Department of Public Safety and police canines assisted in the search.

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