Iowa City man arrested on warrants from taking a vehicle from workplace


An Iowa City man who allegedly took a workplace vehicle without permission and lied about his involvement in the subsequent damage was arrested on a multitude of warrants this week.

21-year-old Jose Rosario Diaz of Laura Drive had been wanted for multiple Driving While Barred charges and failure to appear for arraignments on March 28th, 2018; September 10th, 2019 and May 23rd, 2020.

On October 16th 2020, Rosario Diaz allegedly took a vehicle from his workplace without permission, after being told multiple times not to use shop vehicles for personal use. He was found by a sheriff’s deputy on the Interstate 80 ramp near Tiffin around 7:15pm after the trailer he was towing came off the vehicle. Shortly afterwards, he admitted that he had been barred from driving until March of the next year and had taken the vehicle from his shop without permission. Rosario Diaz was taken into custody and charged with Operating a Vehicle without Owner Consent and Driving While Barred.

After his release later that night, cellphone data indicates that Rosario Diaz allegedly returned to the site of the vehicle before 11pm and smashed out the rear passenger window. Police say a matching section of tint and glass was found at the location two days later.

Further data allegedly shows that Rosario Diaz returned to the shop garage at 1:46am.

Later that morning, the vehicle was discovered at the garage, but eight batteries, a circular saw, hammer drill, and impact drill were missing. A garage door and another vehicle allegedly had been vandalized with a black marker, and the message “We effed your blue truck” was written on the shop’s white board.

Rosario Diaz is also accused of assisting in reporting the burglary to the sheriff’s office and reported false information about where the damaged truck and trailer had been left.

Warrants for Rosario Diaz’ arrest were issued on October 26th. He failed again to show for arraignment February 15th of this year on the initial charges from October 16th.

Rosario Diaz was arrested and booked at the Johnson County Jail Tuesday at 7:20pm. He faces 4 counts of Driving While Barred; Operating a Vehicle without Owner Consent; 5th degree Criminal Mischief; Tampering with a Motor Vehicle; 2nd degree Theft; 3rd degree Burglary; and False Report of an Indictable Offense. If convicted on all charges, he could be sentenced to over 21 years in prison.