Man tracks down his own car to a chop shop, leads police to a car theft ring

Posted at 5:36 PM, Jul 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-14 17:36:34-04

When Milton Petersen woke up Thursday morning, he didn't expect to help break up a criminal enterprise. He was walking to his car at his apartment complex in the University area when he noticed it was missing. What the criminals didn't realize at first, is that Milton had been tracking their every move.

"I had a tracker hidden inside the car," he said.

A GPS tracker was hidden under the car's carpet. Everywhere they had driven during the night was captured and sent to Milton's phone. Starting at 2:15 a.m., there were four different trips. He notified police and they went to the final ping at a home on 28th Avenue East. Police found a stolen car and arrested 24-year-old Bentley Hector, but they didn't find Milton's car.

"So I had my cousin pick me up and we went to a spot where I noticed they traveled to twice," Milton said.

That location was on West Kentucky Avenue. In the backyard of the home, they spotted his car.

"We went to a park a couple of blocks away and called police," Milton said.

On top of finding Milton's car, police found another stolen vehicle and arrested 3 people; Milton Otero, 27, Yoel Alonso Rimada, 27, and Bentley Hector, who had bonded out of jail a couple of hours earlier.

Still, the damage was already done to Milton's car.

The engine was removed, several parts cut and the interior was partially gutted.

"It's the only car for my family," he said.

Milton just moved here with his fiancé last year. They have a 3-month-old son. He works and goes to school and is currently their only source of income. To save money, they did not have full coverage on his vehicle.

Tonight, while he looks for a new way to get around, he says he's just glad he helped catch some criminals.

"I'm glad. They're off the streets," he said.