Two men charged in flat-tire scheme to steal money

Hernan Trujillo
Hernan Trujillo

The money-stealing scheme began with a man puncturing the tire of a car, while a woman was inside a Doral bank getting money, according to police.

When she came out and drove away, her tire began to deflate.

By that point the man had gotten into a car driven by another man and the pair followed her.

What the men didn't know was that an officer, who was in the area of Northwest 25th Street and 107th Avenue, spotted the incident and followed along.

On Thursday, police announced the arrest of Cesar Castillo Vargas, 36, and Hernan Trujillo, 46. Both men are facing charges including possession of burglary tools, loitering or prowling, criminal mischief, giving a false name, resisting an officer without violence and showing a fake ID.

According to a police report, an officer spotted the man puncture a tire Feb. 26 outside the Bank of America branch at 2680 NW 107th Ave. When Marayma Vazquez, 55, got in her car she did not notice the flat tire. At 132nd Avenue and Southwest Eighth Street, the officer told Vazquez to pull over, according to the report. He then stopped the car that had been following.

The officer wrote that based on the investigation, “It is clear that their intentions was to steal from the victim by making her vulnerable.”

Both men gave fake names and showed fake IDs, an officer wrote. Burglary tools were found inside the car.

Police believe that this isn't the first time the men pulled the scheme.

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

Carli Teproff: 305-376-3587, @CTeproff