RACINE COUNTY — A Racine man who was out on bond when he led police on a high-speed chase through Racine County after an attempted burglary on Feb. 8, 2017 has been sentenced to prison. After the crime, he wrote a letter of apology to the homeowner.
Juan Rodriguez, 45, of Racine, on Feb. 5 pleaded no contest to two charges: vehicle operator flee/elude officer and burglary of a building or dwelling.
Three other charges were dismissed but read into the court record.
In court on Tuesday, March 6, Rodriguez was sentenced to serve 12 months in prison and 18 months extended supervision on the flee/elude conviction, and four years in prison and four years extended supervision on the burglary charge — to be served consecutively for a total of five years in prison and five-and-a-half years extended supervision.
He was also sentenced in a separate case, filed back in Sept. 2016. This after a jury in Oct. 2017 found him guilty of one count of drive/operate a vehicle without the owner’s consent. He was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison and 18 months extended supervision, which was stayed, and he was instead placed on probation for three years — to be served consecutively to the above sentence.
In all, Rodriguez will serve four years in prison and eight-and-a-half years extended supervision.
Prosecutors say in Feb. 2017, Rodriguez admitted to police he was trying to steal items from a home and ran out when the homeowner arrived. He also wrote a statement to the homeowner apologizing for what he did.
A neighbor caught the intruder running out of the house.
Rodriguez told investigators as he was gathering an array of items, the homeowner suddenly arrived. He dropped everything and jumped in his SUV. At that point, an officer activated his lights and sirens and pursued the suspect.
Police said Rodriguez led them on a chase through Racine County that hit speeds of up to 90 miles-per-hour, and said he was swerving in and out of traffic until he surrendered in a bank parking lot.
He later wrote an apology to the homeowner, reading:
“Sir, I know at this point this statement means nothing, but I would like you to know I apologize…I would like you to know I will not fight charges so that you don’t have to be involved in a legal situation that can cause more stress in your life and your home. I did it. I’m sorry.”
The complaint indicates Rodriguez had been released from custody in Sept. 2016 under conditions of bond that included he not commit any new criminal charges.