Meriden man charged with drag racing on Rt. 9 in Berlin

A Meriden man faces charges after state police say he was seen drag racing in a stolen car in Berlin.

The arrest occurred amid law enforcement efforts to crack down on “street takeovers,” which police say often involve illegal racing, but have led to numerous other crimes in Connecticut and the region.

After extensive intelligence-gathering efforts over the weekend, police say that on Sunday at around 11:30 p.m. a white Honda Civic with no registration plate was seen drag racing on Route 9 in Berlin with an apparent drag chute attached to the rear of the vehicle. Troopers later observed the Honda Civic being loaded onto a flatbed trailer pulled by a Ford F-350 pickup truck.

State police said the Honda Civic was found to be stolen out of Danbury, and the trailer plate was misused. When troopers initiated a motor vehicle stop, the operator was allegedly transporting the Honda to a second racing location.

Flor Hiram Santiago, 43, of Meriden was charged with racing, reckless driving, reckless endangerment in the second degree, larceny in the first degree, failure to renew registration, misuse of plates, theft of plates, operating without insurance, operating under suspension, and improper parking.

Santiago was held on a $500,000 bond and appeared at New Britain Superior Court. He was also wanted by East Haven police on a first-degree larceny charge. The Ford F-350, the Honda Civic, and the towing trailer were all seized as evidence in this investigation, according to state police.


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