Man accused of repeatedly stealing same couple’s van to commit crimes — and returning vehicle before they noticed

A man in Houston is accused of repeatedly stealing a couple’s van in the middle of the night and using it to commit other crimes, before returning the vehicle in the morning.

Beverly Havard had begun to notice slight changes with her vehicle over the course of a few days.

“The seat was pulled back and the mirrors were adjusted,” Havard explained to ABC 13 News.

The woman said she had misplaced a spare key to her van, so she began to track the mileage of her vehicle.

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“I said, ‘Somebody’s driving my car and bringing it back. I know I’m not crazy,’” Beverly told the news station.

Authorities launched an investigation after several neighbours alerted them to burglarized vehicles throughout the neighbourhood over the course of about two weeks.

According to Click2Houston News, investigators setup surveillance cameras in the area. That’s when they spotted Havard’s van being driven by the suspect. Police alleged Michael Armando Lopez refused to stop for police and ended up crashing Havard’s vehicle.

Havard’s van was modified for her husband, who uses a wheelchair.

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“I had to cancel his doctor’s appointment,” the woman said. “I hope he’s satisfied that he took advantage of an elderly person that’s very sick and that can’t be transported to go anywhere.”

Authorities alleged the 25-year-old suspect was also captured on security footage breaking into several vehicles in the same neighbourhood.

Lopez was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, evading arrest with a vehicle and possession of controlled substance. Officials said additional charges have been applied as more burglarized vehicles are being tied to the suspect, Click2Houston News reported.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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