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APD’s Auto Theft Unit makes 6 arrests in one day

The unit recovered 4 stolen vehicles and 3 firearms

August 8, 2021

ALBUQUERQUE – On the evening of August 5, 2021, The Albuquerque Police Department’s Auto Theft Unit arrested six auto theft offenders across the city. Detectives also recovered four stolen vehicles and three firearms.

Coors and I-40

At about 12 p.m. Auto Theft detectives with the assistance of Air Support tracked a Hyundai Santa Fe that fled from a traffic stop near Coors Boulevard and Eastbound I-40. Stephanie Wilkinson, 24, was observed driving the vehicle to the Motel 6 where Roberto Mendoza, 31, then entered the driver’s seat. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle and it fled.

Air Support was able to locate the vehicle in the Northeast where it entered an apartment complex and the two exited the Hyundai. Detectives were able to run the vehicle which came back stolen, to which they then placed a deflation device under one of the tires.

Mendoza and Wilkinson then got back in the vehicle and drove to a local retailer while the tire had deflated. They exited the car and were seeking rides from shoppers. An individual agreed to give them a ride and detectives followed the vehicle until Mendoza and Wilkinson fled on food near Louisiana and Indian School. Both individuals were taken into custody without incident.

Detectives later learned Mendoza tossed a firearm while stopped at the apartment complex in an attempt to hide from Air Support. The firearm was recovered and also came back stolen.

Mendoza had two felony warrants for his arrest, and both he and Wilkinson were arrested for Receiving or Transferring a Stolen Motor Vehicle.

Gibson and San Mateo

At approximately 1:15p.m. Auto Theft Detectives heard SE PRT officers following a gold Hyundai Elantra in the area of Gibson and San Mateo. The vehicle had been reported stolen based on the license plate. BCSO’s Air Support was overhead and assisted in conducting surveillance on the vehicle.

PRT Officers attempted a traffic stop and the stolen vehicle fled from officers at a high rate of speed. Air Support maintained a visual and a single male occupant exited the vehicle with a backpack. The male, identified as Travis Garcia-Palmer,18, attempted to take off his shirt in an effort to change his appearance.

Palmer was taken into custody without incident and was found to be in possession of cocaine, a scale, numerous baggies, and a black semi-automatic firearm. Travis was arrested for Receiving or Transfering a Stolen Motor Vehicle, Trafficking, and Aggravated fleeing in vehicle.

Foothills Area Command

On August 5, 2021 Auto Theft detectives were contacted by a local dealership about a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee with GPS tracking. Detectives responded to the Foothills Area Command and located the vehicle.

The male driver, Larry Chiefly, 42, exited and began to walk southbound on General Marshall and entered a homeless camp and surveillance was conducted. A plan was formulated to contact Larry upon returning to the vehicle.

Chiefly attempted to flee on foot and quickly realized he was surrounded. Larry was placed in custody without incident. Through the investigation it was revealed Chiefly was observed on video surveillance the previous day stealing the listed vehicle from the business. He had three local felony warrants for his arrest and one felony warrant out of  Oklahoma. Chiefly was charged with Unlawful Taking of a Motor Vehicle.

Zuni and Dallas
On August 5, 2021 at approximately 8:00p.m. Auto Theft detectives observed a grey Kia Optima traveling westbound on Zuni Rd/Dallas. The license plate information displayed the license plate belonging to a city owned vehicle bait car. The vehicle it was on was not the correct vehicle.

Detectives knew that the license plate was removed from a bait car activation the previous day. The listed vehicle was also observed during the commission of the bait car theft but due to the subjects separating in vehicles. The vehicle was not found.

The driver matched the offender from the day prior, identified as Matthew Jaramillo, 19, and a female passenger, identified as Aliciana Rousseau-Lopez, 21. Air Support arrived in the area and assisted. Jaramillo and Rousseau-Lopez drove to a local retailer along Eubank. The two exited the vehicle and proceeded inside the store where they proceeded to steal items in backpacks full of merchandise. While both subjects were inside detectives were able to check the VIN on the Kia and confirmed it as stolen.

Detectives formulated an arrest plan once the subjects exited the store. Within minutes of shoplifting items, both subjects ran out the business towards the stolen vehicle. A high risk felony stop was conducted in the parking lot and Matthew attempted to run back into the store.

Jaramillo was placed under arrest and found to be in possession of a firearm. Rousseau-Lopez was taken into custody after she fled on foot. Both individuals had misdemeanor warrants for their arrest and were charged with Receiving or Transfering a Stolen Motor Vehicle, Resisting Arrest and Shoplifting.