Deputies: Man stole 2 luxury cars, led them on chase by car and foot

Reporter: Taylor Smith Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Mauricio Ivan Zegarra, 24. Credit: Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

A Golden Gate man was arrested Thursday after deputies said he stole a luxury vehicle from a residence in North Naples while deputies were searching for him in connection with the theft of another luxury vehicle just minutes earlier.

According to a Collier County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post, Mauricio Ivan Zegarra, 24, faces multiple felony charges that include burglary, grand theft auto, fleeing and eluding law enforcement, resisting arrest, and violation of state probation.

According to arrest reports, around 12:40 p.m. Wednesday, deputies responded to a burglary and grand theft auto report at a home on Annemore Lane in the Pelican Bay community.

A witness, who is the home watch service for the victim, told deputies she arrived at the residence and found the homeowner’s red 2005 Lexus had been moved from the garage to the driveway. A man later identified as Zegarra was sitting in the driver’s seat. A gray Toyota pickup that did not belong to the homeowner was also parked in the driveway. She pulled her vehicle behind the Lexus to prevent it from leaving and confronted Zegarra. After a brief exchange, Zegarra ran behind the house. She started taking pictures of the pickup. As she was taking pictures, Zegarra returned, got inside the pickup and drove away.

“Law enforcement always wants people to be good witnesses and collect any information they can – the make of the car, the description of the person,” said Rich Kolko, WINK News safety and security specialist. “This person actually got involved in the case.”

Deputies spotted the pickup on Rue Deville, where it stopped at the dead-end of the street. Zegarra got out of the vehicle with the engine still running and jumped over a concrete wall.

Further investigation by deputies found the pickup was registered to Zegarra. Envelopes that resembled pay stubs from a local pool company were in plain view inside the pickup.

“As I understand it, a pool person tried to steal the vehicle,” neighbor Jeff Perla said. “It’s shocking in this neighborhood, in this city, and in this town.”

Perla lives next to where Zegarra took off in the truck. He said he has workers come clean his pool, too.

“I trust them to come here when I’m not here,” Perla said. “I give them keys, so you’d never expect something like this to happen.”

Detectives contacted the victim who said the pool company shown on the envelopes was the same company she used to service her pool.

Detectives contacted the pool company, which said Zegarra left work early Wednesday because he was sick.

While deputies searched for Zegarra, another residential burglary and grand theft auto were reported a short distance away on Heatherly Lane.

The victim told deputies she came home around 1:30 p.m. to find her garage had been entered and her white 2014 Lexus stolen.

“They randomly picked our street,” neighbor Rachel Coleman said. “It was entirely by chance.”

Deputies located the stolen Lexus on US-41 South in East Naples. They activated their emergency lights and attempted a traffic stop but say Zegarra sped up and led them on a pursuit. He eventually stopped the vehicle on Collee Court and ran from deputies. Following a brief foot pursuit, deputies took him into custody.

After being spotted in the stolen car on US-41, Zegarra ended up at Coleman’s home in East Naples.

“Mine looked like a nice yard to run into,” Coleman said. “So he changed ideas over here, barreled through our fence.”

Zegarra is a convicted felon, who served prison time following his arrest and conviction on similar charges for breaking into a residence in Naples and stealing a BMW in 2017. He was released from prison in February.

Zegarra is in custody at Collier County jail. A bond summary was unavailable on his arrest page.

Neighbors such as Coleman are happy he was caught.

“We have actually felt very safe living here,” Coleman said. “We just told our kids that they got him, and everything’s fine.”

Magnolia Pool and Spa said Friday that Zegarra is no longer an employee.

“His behavior is not reflective of the culture and values at Magnolia Pool and Spa and we are overwhelmed by learning of the events that occurred,” a statement read. “Safety of our customers and the community is of the utmost importance to our company and we’d like to thank the Collier County Sheriff’s department and local law enforcement for their excellent work to bring this situation to a quick resolution.”

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