Alleged Richmond car thief apparently can’t help himself

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Richmond police to hold another DUI checkpoint at Cutting/41st on Friday night

This suspected car thief doesn’t appear to know when to stop.

A 21-year-old man who allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign in a stolen car early Monday in Richmond’s Iron Triangle neighborhood had been arrested only two weeks before on charges that he had performed doughnuts in a stolen vehicle.

Marcos Balbuena, of Richmond, was booked on multiple charges in connection with the Monday incident that resulted in a police pursuit and solo-vehicle crash, police spokesperson Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said.

About 4:40 a.m., Abetkov said, officers attempted to pull over a vehicle that failed to stop at a stop sign in the 100 block of S. First St. The suspect attempted to flee police but crashed into a PG&E pole at S. 11th St. and Florida Avenue, Abetkov said.

“He fled on foot but was quickly apprehended,” she said.

During the vehicle pursuit, officers said they saw an object being thrown from the driver’s side window of the stolen car. Police recovered the item: a loaded .38 caliber revolver, Abetkov said.

Balbuena, who was not injured in the crash, was booked into jail for the second time in just over two weeks.

On Apr. 6, a retired cop tasked with monitoring CCTV cameras installed at certain intersections reportedly watched as Balbuena performed doughnuts in a stolen Nissan Altima at S. 2nd St. and Ohio Avenue – only a block from where he allegedly ran a stop sign early Monday.

Police responded to the intersection and found Balbuena behind the wheel of the car, which he had pulled over to the curb of that intersection, Abetkov said. Before that incident, Balbuena had already been on probation for stealing a car, Abetkov said.

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