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WPD Ops Officer on Patrol Located Stolen MV along with Gun

Worcester, MA (March 6, 2017)- On Saturday, March 4, 2017 at approximately 7:00 PM, a Worcester police officer working out of the Operations Division was on routine patrol in the area of Dorchester Street. At this time the patrolling officer approached a stop sign at the intersection Dorchester Street and Houghton Street. The opposite side of the intersection was a vehicle, a 2011 Hyundai Sonata, color black, with a license plate that the officer recognized as stolen. The officer had been made aware of this through the department wide e-mail that was sent out recently.

The vehicle passed the officer in the opposite direction. The officer activated his emergency lights, made a U-turn and signaled the vehicle to stop. The operator of the vehicle did not stop and sped off. The officer followed the vehicle and called out for assistance. The operator continued to drive on several neighborhood streets without stopping. Eventually the operator came back onto Dorchester Street and stopped in front of 134 Dorchester Street.

The officer approached the vehicle and ordered the male to exit the vehicle and to walk towards the rear. The operator complied. The operator was identified as Fredrick Mercado, 21-years-old of 28 Oneida, Worcester. Mr. Mercado was placed under arrest. A brief conversation with the operator indicated that there was a weapon in the vehicle.

Additional officers arrived at the scene to assist. At this time the officer asked for the passenger to exit the vehicle. The passenger complied without incident.

A search of the vehicle produced a loaded handgun. The weapon was discovered in an unlocked compartment that was just under the radio as part of the center console. A check on Mr. Mercado revealed that he did not have a license to operate a motor vehicle nor did he have an active LTC or FID.

The female passenger was identified as Gina Rosario, 21-years-old of 27 Arlington Street, Worcester. Ms. Rosario did not have an FID or LTC. Ms. Rosario was also placed under arrest.

Members of the Crime Scene Unit arrived at the location of the motor vehicle stop and took possession of the firearm. The firearm was identified as a .32 caliber Keltic P32 automatic. The weapon was made safe and secured.

The vehicle was towed from the scene to police headquarters. The owner of the vehicle gave permission for the officers to search the vehicle for potential additional weapons. The extensive search provided negative results. At the conclusion of the search, the stolen vehicle was returned to the rightful owner.

Mr. Mercado was charged with Unlawfully Carrying a Firearm, Carrying a Loaded Firearm, Improper Storage of a Firearm, Possession of a Firearm in the Commission of a felony, Possession of Ammunition without an FID Card, Operating a Motor Vehicle without a License, Receiving Stolen Property, Failure to Stop for Police and a Stop Sign Violation.

Ms. Rosario was charged with Unlawfully Carrying a Firearm, Possession of a Loaded Firearm, Improper Storage of a Firearm, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, and Possession of Ammunition without an FID.

Mr. Mercado and Ms. Rosario will be arraigned today at the Worcester County District Courthouse.

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