Albuquerque restaurant hit with series of car break-ins, suspect on the run

Crime

Customers at a popular Albuquerque restaurant can breathe a sigh of relief. Police say they caught the thief who’s been breaking into their cars over the past few months.

The problem? The District Attorney’s office and the judge let him right back out and now no one can find him.

The Flying Star Cafe on Juan Tabo is a popular place for locals to come and eat, but it’s also been a hot spot for thieves.

Albuquerque police say Jacob Cormier is the man responsible for breaking into five cars in the parking lot from December to February.

“There are a lot of poor people. Maybe they have to do it to make ends meet,” says Debra Shekter, a customer.

According to police, it wasn’t to make ends meet, it was for meth.

Police say Cormier and his partner in crime, Vanessa Santillanes, were caught on surveillance video in a truck circling the parking lot of the Flying Star, right before Cormier got out and broke into a car.

Officers then tracked down the truck to Santillanes’ home near Juan Tabo and Eubank. They say she had a meth pipe in the truck and confessed to the crimes.

KRQE News 13 tried to question Santillanes about the crimes, but no one answered the door.

Cormier’s criminal history dates back to 2004 when he was only 15 years old. Police say he stabbed a man to death over a girl. Those murder charges were later dropped, but no one could tell us why.

Cormier, who has a history of car theft charges, was also arrested last October when police caught him with Santillanes in a stolen car. The DA’s office dropped those charges in the lead up to the Flying Star break-in spree.

Cormier was released back in February while he awaits trial but now has a warrant out for his arrest for not showing up to court.

A spokesperson with the DA’s office says they didn’t file for preventative detention because he doesn’t have a violent history.

Santillanes is also awaiting trial.

The 18-year-old is asking a judge for permission to move to Nevada with her sister, to get away from Cormier.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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