Lufkin Police: Man caught sleeping near stolen vehicle

Miguel Mendez mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Miguel Mendez mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin Police have made an arrest in a Monday morning case of a car found abandoned at a cemetery.

Miguel Angel Mendez, 20, of Diboll, is charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle.

According to the police report, Mendez stole a red 1993 Honda Civic from the driveway of a residence located in the 600 block of Calvin Street in Lufkin. The car was not locked and the key was in it. The car owner learned at 4:20 a.m. on Monday that it had been stolen  when Diboll Police called and told him it had been recovered at Pickett Cemetery in Diboll.

A Lufkin Police officer responded to the cemetery and collected evidence from the scene and police released the car back to the owner.

On Tuesday, a van reported to the Angelina County Sheriff's Office as stolen was recovered at Winston Park, located in the 400 block of Jack Street. When deputies and a LPD crime scene technician processed the evidence, they discovered Mendez asleep in a nearby wooded area and found him with several GPS receivers and the ignition key to the stolen Honda Civic, according to the report.

Mendez was taken into custody and to the Angelina County Jail. During an interview at the jail, Mendez confessed to a detective to stealing the Honda Civic. Mendez was placed under arrest at the jail.

The sheriff's office has also charged him with burglary of a vehicle.

Mendez was arrested in November in connection to vehicle burglaries on Allendale Drive in Lufkin. According to a previous report, police say Mendez ran from officers twice before finally being apprehended and taken to a Lufkin hospital to be treated for injuries from the chase. When he was released from the hospital and to the custody of the officer, he sprang from the wheelchair in which he was seated and attempted to flee from the officer, but was quickly caught and taken to jail, according to the report.

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