Florida Keys News - Islamorada/KL Free Press
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
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Key Largo man held in Baltimore for car thefts

KEY LARGO -- A Key Largo man is sitting in a Baltimore, Md., jail cell on allegations he stole two cars, burnt one of them and resisted police officers.

Robert Peter Hoffman, 50, of Ryan Avenue, is accused of stealing his daughter's car, setting it on fire and then carjacking another vehicle at a nearby gas station. When police caught up to Hoffman in Maryland, he allegedly took them on a wild chase and intentionally cut his neck before surrendering.

According to a online records report from the Maryland Tranportation Police Authority, Hoffman was issued nine traffic citations for driving 94 mph in 55 mph zone. Hoffman was driving at mile marker 60.3 on Instertate 95 when he was stopped. His traffic fine totaled $1,290.

He also faces three criminal charges, including unlawful taking of a vehicle, unlawful removal and theft of property up to $10,000.

When he returns to Monroe County, he faces arson and grand theft charges.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said Friday in an email that local warrants were in the process of being written for the alleged crimes. She added Hoffman will have to deal with legal troubles in Baltimore before returning to the Florida Keys.

Hoffman has been released from the hospital and processed at the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center, according to Jonathan Green, a spokesman for the Baltimore police. Green did not respond to requests for reports on the Baltimore incident.

Local deputies accuse Hoffman of stealing his daughter's 2007 Ford Fusion while she was working an overnight shift Jan. 17. She said she was sleeping after work that morning just before 10 a.m. when Hoffman entered her bedroom. She said he threw her car keys at her, saying "I just blew up your car." When she went outside, her car was on fire, according to reports.

She told Detective Yunier Galvez that Hoffman had been on a multiple day drug and alcohol binge.

Just minutes later, sheriff's dispatchers received a call from a man at the Tom Thumb store at mile marker 104. He said he had just fought with a man who had stolen the 2001 Mercury sedan he was driving. The car belonged to the man's roommate.

Hoffman allegedly ran up to him, threw him to the ground and yelled, "I'm stealing your car." He said he fought with Hoffman, who jumped in and drove off in the car with the pump handle still in the gas tank.

The following day, the stolen car was located after the license plate was read going through a tunnel on I-95 in Maryland. Law enforcement attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle, which refused to stop. It crashed after an 8-mile chase.

Hoffman then fled on foot and, before he was apprehended, cut his own neck. He was airlifted to a downtown Baltimore hospital for medical care.

His next court appearance in Baltimore is set for Feb. 18 at 1:30 p.m.


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