Police: Man charged in theft of rental car from North Haven last year

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NORTH HAVEN — A man faces charges after police said he stole a rental car from a home last September. 

Yavier Ruiz-Velez, 21, of 107 Cannon Rd., East Hartford, was charged by warrant with first-degree larceny. 

On Sept. 13 police responded to a home on Wayland Street for a report of a stolen vehicle, according to the arrest warrant. Officers spoke with the resident who said he woke up and discovered a vehicle he was renting, a 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, was stolen from his driveway overnight, the warrant said.

On Sept. 22, police recovered the vehicle in East Hartford. The resident who originally rented the vehicle told police that window tints had been added since it was stolen and identified items that he did not leave in the Jeep. 

Officers took DNA samples from various locations in the Jeep. On Jan. 27, North Haven police spoke with a detective from East Hartford regarding a fingerprint match for Ruiz-Velez in connection with an unrelated incident. Officers obtained a search warrant for Ruiz-Velez’s DNA. Ruiz-Velez was in custody at the time and police served the search warrant and obtained a DNA sample, the warrant said. 

On May 7, a forensic report linked the DNA samples to Ruiz-Velez, the warrant said. 

Ruiz-Velez told police another man brought the vehicle to him. Ruiz-Velez said he knew the vehicle was stolen but claimed he only applied the tints to the windows. Police noted the DNA hits came from items inside the vehicle. 

Ruiz-Velez is being held on $5,000 and scheduled to appear in Meriden Superior Court on Aug. 18. 

lsellew@record-journal.com203-317-2225Twitter: @LaurenSellewRJ

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