Hudson man identifies alleged carjacker through television newscast
While watching the news one evening, Tab Hanson saw a familiar face flash across the screen — it was the same man who a few days earlier hopped into the vacant driver’s seat of Hanson’s vehicle, pulled a gun, told him to get out and then drove away, according to a criminal complaint filed in St. Croix County Circuit Court.
The driver fled authorities in the Hansons’ stolen car and the chase continued into Minnesota, where it was eventually called off due to poor weather conditions, according to a press release from Hudson police.
The man with the familiar face from Forest Lake, Minn., — 26-year-old Trinidad Jesus Garcia — was arrested by Minnesota State Patrol on suspicion of shooting at another vehicle on Interstate 35 near Wyoming just hours after the Hudson carjacking.
Garcia also was charged in St. Croix County with armed carjacking and attempting to flee an officer — both felonies.
According to the complaint:
Tab Hanson and his wife Sally were out running errands the morning of March 1 when they stopped at Menard’s on Gateway Boulevard to pick up some dog treats.
Sally Hanson, who was driving, pulled into a spot next to a maroon Dodge Durango, got out and went into the store while her husband waited in the car with their dog.
As his wife entered the store, Tab Hanson said a white male exited the Durango next to him, walked around to the driver’s side door of the Hanson’s Toyota Highlander, opened the door, sat down, showed him the gun and said “get the (expletive) out.”
Police searched the Durango, which was left running at the scene of the carjacking and “appeared to have been lived in” as officers found dirty laundry and several empty fast food containers along with a debit card issued to Trinidad J. Garcia.
The Hansons’ dog was recovered running along the side of a road not too long after Garcia drove away in their car.
Roughly two hours after the Hudson carjacking and police pursuit, Garcia showed up at Alliance Auto on Hastings Avenue in Newport, Minn., where he put $9,000 in cash on the counter and drove off with the BMW in which he was later apprehended by Minnesota State Patrol troopers.
An Alliance Auto employee told police Garcia left his paperwork unfinished and still owed $800 on the car when he left for a test drive and never returned.
March 3, two days after the carjacking, an off-duty Hudson police detective saw a news story naming Trinidad Garcia as a suspect in a shooting on Interstate 35 near Wyoming, Minn.
Troopers arrested Garcia hours after the carjacking in Hudson.
The next day, Tab Hanson called police to tell them he saw his carjacker on the news.
“I saw the guy on the screen and I was like, ‘That’s the guy,’” Tab Hanson told authorities.
The Hansons’ vehicle — still containing their $54.54 worth of groceries — was discovered not too far from the Newport Alliance Auto.
The firearm recovered when Garcia was taken into custody matched one reported stolen from Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
Garcia faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a $100,000 fine for the armed carjacking charge and more than three years in prison on the fleeing charge.
Garcia remains in Chisago County jail on the Minnesota charges.