ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - It took hours of hunting Thursday before the APD SWAT team, a stun-gun dart and a blast from a beanbag shotgun brought down the suspect in two armed robberies and a purported kidnapping.
Albuquerque and Los Lunas police officers moved into a southwest Albuquerque neighborhood about 4 a.m. Thursday with an arrest warrant for Vakei Robinson, but he initially gave them the slip.
"At some point Robinson got spooked and jumped out a back bedroom window," Albuquerque Sgt. Trish Hoffman said while the hunt for Robinson was still underway. "We are very certain that we have him contained in the area where the SWAT members are at."
Yet while Robinson, 22, slipped out the back of a home in the 700 block 110th Street SW and began jumping fences, he could not break the cordon of officers around the neighborhood, Los Lunas Police Chief Roy Melnick said in a statement released by his office.
A yard-by-yard search aided by the Albuquerque Police Department SWAT team began, and shortly after 11:30 a.m. they spotted Robinson who began to run. He didn't run far as officers deployed a Taser and beanbag shotgun, Melnick said.
Los Lunas police said Robinson is a suspect in the Saturday holdups of a Giant gas station on Lomas Boulevard NE in Albuquerque and a Del Taco restaurant in Los Lunas about an hour later. A security camera at Del Taco recorded a man with a pistol and wearing a Halloween skeleton mask and costume smashing a window to get inside.
During the restaurant holdup a female employee was taken hostage at gunpoint as the robber fled in another employee's car.
Police shot out two tires in the getaway car forcing the robber to abandon it and the unharmed hostage about a quarter mile from the restaurant.
Investigators later determined the hostage was Robinson's girlfriend and said she admitted it was Robinson who committed the robbery.
"When the money was being taken from the cash registers, she sort assisted with the money and put it in the backpack," Melnick said at an afternoon news conference.
At this point the girlfriend is considered a witness with a decision on filing charges against her to be left up to the district attorney's office, Melnick said.
Charges against Robinson include kidnapping, armed robbery, vehicle theft and felon in possession of a firearm with additional charges pending in Albuquerque. He was booked into the Valencia County Detention Center under a $200,000 bond.
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