Car thieves arrested driving stolen car to the courthouse

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - Police describe it as a "bizarre" arrest. A LoJack signal alerted police to the stolen SUV, and when officers found the car, the car thieves were headed to the Metropolitan Courthouse to pick up an ankle monitor from a previous case.

According to Albuquerque police, stolen cars tracked down by a LoJack signal is a fairly common occurrence, at least once a week.

According to the criminal complaint, detectives received a silent alert to an apartment complex near Jefferson and Montgomery around 9 a.m. Thursday. When detectives arrived, they found a stolen black GMC SUV parked at the complex. Moments later, the two male suspects got into the car and drove off.

Officers said the pair drove around town aimlessly, before they eventually stopped downtown near Fifth Street and Marble. They got out of the car and walked towards the Metropolitan Courthouse.

Officers were able to arrest the two suspects without incident. The driver was identified as Alfonso Rodriguez, 20, and the passenger John Benavidez, 19. Rodriguez had just gotten out of jail a few days earlier and was on his way to get an ankle monitor.

"He was actually on a conditions for release on a kidnapping and some assault charges from 2016," said Officer Fred Duran, Albuquerque Police Department.

According to the criminal complaint from that case, he stole a vehicle at gunpoint. The passenger, Benavidez, is also no stranger to the law.

"Was previously arrested from two other stolen vehicles, and this would be his third receiving transferring charge," said Officer Duran.

Police said it is frustrating having to use resources on the same offenders over and over again.

"Didn't even get the chance to put an ankle monitor on him before he was back at MDC again," said Officer Duran.

Detectives said the two suspects admitted to knowing the car was stolen. They told police an unidentified man gave it to them.

The SUV was returned to its owner. The owner had installed the LoJack tracking device just a couple months ago.


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