ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque police have arrested a suspected serial robber connected to 42 robberies around the metro over 7 months. One of those crimes involved a pregnant mother and her children.

Story continues below

Twenty-five-year-old Dairon Romero has been on APD’s radar since July. But since everyone was wearing a mask due to the pandemic it made it a little more challenging to find him.

Lieutenant Ray Del Greco with APD Violent Crimes explains, “The masks and the mask mandate made it that much more difficult to link these crimes together, so that’s why you’re seeing Mr. Romero with 42 possible crimes. Once we were able to establish who Mr. Romero was through our investigative leads we were able to backtrack and begin to link him together with all of these armed robberies.”

In July, police say Romero carjacked the pregnant woman and her kids at gunpoint at the Wal-mart on Wyoming and Academy. Surveillance video caught him leaving the store and walking up to the family, who were all able to get away before police say Romero took off in their truck.

While the police couldn’t get a look at his face they were able to see a distinct Zia tattoo on his right hand. A couple of weeks before the carjacking, police say a man with the same description and tattoo robbed the Wendy’s across from UNM.

The police say Romero went on to rob dozens more businesses, from gas stations to hotels to other retail stores. He’s even accused of pepper-spraying an employee of a Circle K when robbing that business. He was finally arrested yesterday on warrants stemming from the armed robberies.

Police say Romero has been victimizing the city and businesses for months and are grateful he’s in custody. But they say, unfortunately, this is an ongoing problem they are trying to combat. “We’re currently in the midst of an operation with undercover detectives to conduct anti-robbery operations to apprehend these individuals who are committing these violent crimes,” says Del Greco. 

APD’S armed robbery detectives are working with the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office and the United States Attorney’s office to charge Romero federally. Court records show Romero has a long criminal history dating back to at least 2015, for crimes including aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, breaking and entering, and car theft.