After a two day manhunt, police have finally caught the guy who embarrassed the NYPD by stealing a police cruiser. It turns out that Rubin Fernandez was allegedly able to take the car on a joyride—and crash it—because a police officer had left it idling outside the 50th Precinct in the Bronx.
On Sunday, October 23rd, authorities said that someone stole the NYPD vehicle from the 50th's parking lot at 3450 Kingsbridge Avenue. Then the suspect "drove the marked vehicle in the vicinity of Fordham Road and Sedgwick Avenue where he collided into four unoccupied parked vehicles in front of 2300 Sedgwick Ave in the confines of the 52nd Precinct."
— New York Post Metro (@nypmetro) October 23, 2016
According to police, the driver then entered a Black Lincoln Town car and fled the location going westbound on Fordham Road.
Police Commissioner James O'Neill said the cop left the car idling because he "assumed somebody from the midnight shift was going to take that car. That didn’t happen. So the police officer who left it there and the desk sergeant are going to both be disciplined."
A source told the Post, "It was kind of a stupid mistake, poor guy," claiming that cops leave cars running more often than you'd realize. However, another source countered, "It’s PD 101: Don’t leave the keys in the car. It’s just like losing your gun — failure to safeguard." The owners of the cars that were damaged should definitely show their insurance companies the Post's article.
The police officer's badge and gun will reportedly be stripped pending review.
Today, police announced Fernandez, a 31-year-old Manhattan resident, was charged with grand larceny, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.