ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque criminal accused of attacking a mailman thought he’d get away with it by running and hiding in a backyard. What he didn’t know was that Albuquerque Police had a drone handy and spotted his hiding place in no time.

Moments after threatening a mail carrier with a knife, police say Elias Gallegos took off, hiding in a stranger’s backyard a few blocks away near Constitution and San Mateo. The criminal complaint says officers saw Gallegos walking around the neighborhood, and when they tried to arrest him, he ran away, jumping walls and hiding in backyards.

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What Gallegos didn’t know is APD sent up a drone to get a birdseye view, that drone quickly zeroed in on Gallegos. Officers surrounded the home, and let the surprised homeowner know there was a criminal in his backyard. Police say Gallegos tried to break into the home as they closed in on him, one of the officers fired off his bean bag gun to stop him.

After Gallegos surrendered, police found his knife in the shed he’d been hiding in. Gallegos has a long criminal history. Gallegos could have been in jail before this ever happened. In 2020, he was given a three-year suspended sentence for two separate crimes, for threatening a store owner with a knife, and for breaking into a city-owned car. He’s in federal custody now awaiting trial for assault on a federal employee.