A Buffalo man was arrested early Thursday in the Town of Tonawanda after police said $12,000 worth of tires and rims stolen from a car dealership were found in his sport utility vehicle.
Willie L. Holcombe Jr., 51, of Howard Street, was charged with third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and fourth-degree criminal mischief, both felonies, as well as misdemeanor unlawful fleeing from a police officer while in a motor vehicle and six vehicle and traffic infractions.
The incident began just after 2 a.m. when Officer Joseph Kazmark observed the vehicle traveling south on Colvin Boulevard without headlights and attempted to pull it over, according to Capt. Joseph F. Carosi.
Holcombe allegedly drove through a red light at Deerhurst Park Boulevard, turned onto Deerhurst, crashed into a tree and fled the vehicle. Officers Brian Ienco and Christopher Kaiser located Holcombe a short time later hiding in a garden bed at a home at the intersection of Devonshire and Grimsby roads, Carosi said.
Police said the eight sets of tires and rims, each worth $1,500, were removed from trucks at the dealership. Holcombe was to be arraigned Thursday evening in Town Court.
Holcombe also was charged in November 2012 after a stolen SUV being chased by Buffalo police slammed into or damaged nine other vehicles and crashed into a light pole in the Elmwood Village. The outcome of that case was not known.