Holiday Thief Steals Toys for Tots Voucher Caught in the Act
By Officer Tasia Martinez
Albuquerque Police Officer Jake Storrie saved Christmas for a 4-year-old Albuquerque boy whose Toys for Tots voucher was taken by a thief overnight.
Southeast Area Command officers arrested Anthony Chavez, 21, at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday in the area of 200 Valencia SE. He was caught in the act of burglarizing a vehicle after officers received a call from a concerned resident who saw Chavez breaking into a silver 4-Runner, causing the vehicle's alarm to sound. Officers say that Chavez had already pocketed valuables found inside the vehicle including a GPS device and ransacked the interior vehicle compartments in search of goods.
The messy thief left an item and paper trail that led officers to a second burglarized vehicle in the area. Officers found personal documents inside the second vehicle and contacted the owner who responded and told officers that many items were taken from her vehicle including a Toys for Tots voucher belonging to her 4-year-old son. The family planned to redeem the voucher to get Christmas toys for the child later in the day.
Officers found quantities of heroin and methamphetamine on Chavez and he admitted to police that he used heroin prior to committing the auto burglaries. He also said he could not remember what he did with the missing Toys for Tots voucher. Officers searched the area, but were unable to locate the voucher.
Officer Storrie finished his graveyard shift at 8:00 a.m. and set out to buy gifts for the child. Storrie learned from the child's mother that the little boy loves Spiderman and purchased several gifts for the little boy. Storrie returned to the home at about 11:00 a.m. to deliver the gifts to the family. Storrie, who is a father of a young child, stated that he wanted to make sure that this child's Christmas was not affected by the thief.