Police: Stolen Van Found Smoking, with Flat Tire on Post Road, Three Teens Arrested

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A van left with its keys in it overnight in the driveway off the Post Road was found on the roadway at about 1 a.m., Sunday, less than a quarter of a mile from three teenagers who were then arrested, police said.

Darien police described what happened with this account, including accusations not proven in court:

An officer on patrol saw two males walking north on Hollow Tree Ridge Road close to the Post Road, where plenty of unlocked motor vehicles have been entered, stolen from and in some cases stolen, especially in the past year or two.

The officer stopped the two and then saw a third male walking from the driveway of a nearby residence. More officers were dispatched to the area.

Just before arriving there, one of the officers saw an abandoned Ford Econoline van on the Post Road, partly blocking its intersection with Hollow Tree Ridge Road. The engine was smoking, a tire was flat and no lights were on.

Jonathan Blanco mug shot

Darien P.D.

Darien P.D. arrest photo of Jonathan Blanco, 18, of Stamford. Police said a technical problem during the processing of Richard Beltran’s arrest in the same case resulted in the loss of that arrest photo.

When police contacted the owner, who lives nearby, at 2757 Post Road, they found out that the keys had been left in the vehicle because the owner was waiting for a charity to pick it up within a week as a donation.

Police determined (they didn’t say how) that the three teenagers had stolen the van, abandoned it when it broke down, then walked away from it, north on Hollow Tree Ridge Road.

No identifying information was given out about the juvenile boy, who is younger than 18 years old and a Bridgeport resident. He was released to an adult and his case is now before Stamford Juvenile Court.

The two adult teens arrested are both from Stamford: Jonathan Blanco, 18, of Dean Street (in the Cove section) and Richard Beltran, 19, of Stephens Street (on Stamford’s West Side).

At first, Blanco gave police a fake name, although police later found his correct name (the police announcement didn’t say how). As his arrest was being processed, Blanco was extremely uncooperative, and while he was in a cell he twice damaged a toilet.

Blanco and Beltran were each initially held on $5,000 bond. Each was charged with third-degree burglary, third-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit third-degree larceny. Blanco was also charged with interfering with an officer and two counts of third-degree criminal mischief.

Beltran — or someone with the same name and birth year — has a previous case: On Oct. 3, 2017 he was charged by state police Troop G (which patrols highways in Fairfield County) with disorderly conduct and third-degree assault. On Jan. 3, he was charged with second-degree failure to appear in court in connection with that case, which is in state Superior Court in Bridgeport.

Blanco — or someone with the same name and birth year — has two criminal court files from 2017, both of which are sealed and in state Superior Court in Stamford. Court files are sometimes related to charges in one case, sometimes in different cases.