Plot twist: Woman accused of aiding car thief, helping him hide, deputies say

Delfy Ogando Gonzalez charged with aiding escape, giving false information to law enforcement

Deputies say a man driving a stolen Mercedes hid in a stranger's garage.
Deputies say a man driving a stolen Mercedes hid in a stranger's garage. (Volusia County Sheriff's Office)

A woman who told Volusia County deputies a man in a stolen Mercedes-Benz asked to hide in her garage lied to law enforcement and was later arrested, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Delfy Ogando Gonzalez, 44, initially told deputies that the fleeing suspect, Raffey Francisco Rodriguez, “showed up at her house unexpectedly as she was leaving, and asked for help because he was being followed by the police,” according to a news release.

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Francisco Rodriguez is facing charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle, burglary and fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement.

Deputies said the Mercedes was reported stolen out of Orlando after it was purchased by someone using a fake identity earlier this week.

After a Volusia County license plate reader got a hit on the stolen car Tuesday morning, DeLand police attempted to stop the Mercedes and the driver fled, deputies said. Air One tracked the vehicle to the home. Operators estimated the driver was traveling at more than 100 mph as he fled.

The helicopter video shows the Mercedes pull up outside a home on Arrendonda Drive in Deltona and then seconds later a white vehicle back out to allow the Mercedes to pull into the garage.

Ogando Gonzalez originally told deputies she was attempting to leave the home when the Mercedes pulled up and the driver told her to let him in the garage so he could hide.

Ogando Gonzalez said she didn’t know the suspect but video and witness accounts show otherwise, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Witnesses said Ogando Gonzalez had been sitting her car in the driveway for a while before Rodriguez pulled up.

“Yeah, the white vehicle pulled out of the driveway so the Mercedes could pull in,” Air One says in the video.

Deputies arrived at the home and had the women call to the suspect and tell him to come outside. Air One video shows a man walk out of the home with his hands behind his head and then a woman walks behind him also with her hands up.

The relationship between the driver of the stolen car and the woman was not immediately available.

After learning her original account was not accurate Ogando Gonzalez was charged with aiding an escape and giving false information to law enforcement. She was booked into the Volusia County Jail Sunday on a $3,000 bail.

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