A local homeless man was arrested Thursday afternoon after allegedly stealing a car from a Petaluma dealership and taking a joyride around Sonoma County, police said.
An employee from Auto Mario called police around 11:20 a.m. to report that a man had taken off from the dealership in a 2008 Honda Accord, according to a news release from Petaluma police.
The man didn’t have a driver’s license, but the employee at the 302 Petaluma Blvd. North business had given him a key to take a look inside the vehicle, police said.
By the time officers were tipped off about the heist, the vehicle had been driven nearly 50 miles through the county, police said. The Honda was equipped with a GPS device, and officers were able to track the man down on Holly Lane around 12:20 p.m.
The driver, identified as 28-year-old transient Rolando Lucas Neri, was taken into custody after a “high risk” traffic stop.
Neri told police he had taken the car for a test drive, though officers noted that the sales tags and stickers has been removed from the vehicle and Neri appeared to only have a few dollars in his possession, police said. Officers suspected he was taking the vehicle to his camp near Holly Lane.
Neri was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft and possession of stolen property and booked into Sonoma County Jail.
(Contact Hannah Beausang at firstname.lastname@example.org)