Forget lying low; stolen car suspects laid on gas

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A 21-year-old man who was allegedly performing doughnuts in a stolen vehicle at a Richmond intersection Sunday morning apparently did not realize he was being watched on closed-circuit TV cameras.

About 9:25 a.m., police said, a retired cop tasked with monitoring CCTV cameras reportedly watched as Marcos Balbuena, a Richmond resident, recklessly handled a Nissan Altima at S. 2nd St. and Ohio Avenue. The intersection is one of several areas in Richmond where cameras have been deployed to combat crime.

“[The retired officer] ran the license plates and found the car was stolen,” police spokesperson Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said Tuesday.

Balbuena was then seen pulling over to the curb of that intersection. No one was seen exiting the Nissan before police officers arrived on scene, Abetkov said. Balbuena was taken into custody without incident. He happened to be on probation for stealing a car, Abetkov said.

Balbuena isn’t the only suspect who apparently thought driving a stolen car recklessly was a smart idea. On Monday at 5:53 p.m., an officer pulled over a vehicle for reckless driving in the 700 block of Ohio Avenue and arrested 43-year-old Kasasha McNevin for possessing a stolen vehicle.

McNevin was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time. But Abetkov reasoned that it is not uncommon for people to “steal cars and not drive them nicely.”

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