Stolen deputy’s gear, multiple items found in alleged thieves’ car


A man and woman were caught along I-40 with loads of stolen items including guns and a Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputy’s gear.

The couple told a convoluted story about trying to get away from the woman’s husband when they ended up along the side of I-40 near Laguna Pueblo with a flat tire.

It happened early Wednesday morning when a Laguna Police officer saw the couple hurling stuff out of their car on the side of the interstate.

The pair was identified as Devan Martinez and Janice Kowalchuk.

Laguna Police called State Police for help.

Officer searched the car and found stolen guns, a reserve BCSO deputy’s badge, commission card, driver’s license and taser along with loads of stolen clothing and other items.

Martinez, a convicted felon, was arrested on the spot and admitted to burglarizing multiple homes and vehicles in recent days.

Kowalchuk was initially let go but police arrested her on a warrant.

Martinez who has a lengthy criminal history is being held without bond until a district court judge determines if he’ll stay behind bars until trial.

Meanwhile, Kowalchuk appeared in court Saturday and was given a bond of $1,500 cash or surety.

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