ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Two suspects are facing charges, accused of possessing a few golf carts recently reported stolen from a private school. Albuquerque Police say some good old fashioned teamwork by a sergeant, a cadet and a police training officer helped the case come together.

Police have charged David and Natalie Rankin with two felony counts, including receiving stolen property and conspiracy to commit a felony. According to a criminal complaint, a police sergeant initiated the investigation Wednesday morning just before 8 a.m., after seeing two golf carts driving through Montgomery Park near Comanche & San Mateo. Police say the two carts eventually drove into the Hahn Arroyo.

Albuquerque Police say a sergeant’s hunch helped police recover three stolen golf carts on March 15, 2023 | Image Courtesy: APD

Police posted about the cart bust on Facebook Thursday, saying the investigation started with the sergeant calling out to other officers over the radio to see if anyone recently took reports related to stolen golf carts. An on duty APD recruit responded, confirming she took a report at Hope Christian School on Monday.

The school reported three golf carts stolen over the weekend, totaling more than $20,000 in value. According to criminal complaint, the APD sergeant then stopped one of two golf carts in the arroyo.

“[The sergeant] was able to contact one of the drivers of the carts on the bike path,” APD wrote on Facebook .”Sgt. Symes entertained the male suspect’s fictional story about what he was doing with the cart until Officers Quintana and Abbatantuono could get there.”

Once the cadet who took the initial golf cart theft report arrived on scene, the group of three officers were able to match one of the cart’s serial numbers with a serial number the school reported stolen. Officers arrested David Rankin, then Natalie Rankin nearby.

According to a criminal complaint, David Rankin told officers about a third golf cart sitting behind the Red Lobster restaurant on Montgomery near San Pedro. Police say that cart’s serial number matched a third cart reported stolen from Hope Christian. Rankin told officers he was working on fixing the carts “for a maintenance guy from an apartment complex” and “was supposed to return” the vehicle.

According to jail records, both David and Natalie Rankin remain in MDC. Jail record indicate both suspects have warrants for other criminal cases.