An Española School District vehicle was stolen from the District Office on Hunter Street May 6, but none of the District’s employees noticed it was missing.
Santa Fe Police Department Officer Michael Murillo filed four criminal complaints with the Santa Fe Magistrate Court charging the four people found with the vehicle.
Adelene Urquijo, of Española; Gabriel Vigil, of Cundiyo; Jose Vasquez, of Santa Fe and Dylan Vigil, of Española, were all charged with receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle.
The crime is a fourth degree felony, punishable by up to 18 months in prison and fines of up to $5,000 for a first offense.
Murillo and other Department officers were called after a suspicious vehicle was observed in a neighborhood, but they located the Suburban at the Wal-Mart on Cerrillos Road.
“The license plate displayed (on the Suburban) returned to a 2013 Chevy Tahoe, which was not the vehicle on scene,” Murillo wrote in the criminal complaint.
Murillo first talked to Dylan Vigil, who said he had been picked up in the vehicle, and that he was trying to get a ride back to Española. He said he had driven the Suburban, but did not know to whom it belonged.
“A fourth individual identified as Jose Vasquez came walking up to the vehicle as it was being seized,” Murillo wrote. “(He) admitted to being inside the vehicle throughout the day but also stated he did not know who the vehicle belonged to.”
After Vasquez was placed under arrest for an outstanding warrant, officers found two screws in his pocket. Murillo wrote that the screws were the same type that hold on a license place.
“This makes sense due to the fact the license plate on the Suburban was switched out,” Murillo wrote.
After confirming via the vehicle identification number that the Suburban belonged to the District, Murillo contacted District employee Patricia Romero.
“Romero was unaware that a vehicle had been taken at this point,” Murillo wrote. “(She) was able to contact the correct personnel and confirm they were missing a white Chevy Suburban.”
Murillo told Romero the District would need to file a report with the Española Police Department concerning the theft.
“The school did have surveillance video showing an unknown persons (sic) walking around the area from 2142 hours and leaving the area at 2210 hours in the Suburban,” Murillo wrote. “Romero told me the keys for the Suburban were left in the vehicle due to someone getting back late.”
Murillo asked the District to provide a copy of the surveillance video, and Murillo wrote that he did not know if the Española Police Department received a copy.
District Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez said in a phone interview May 21 that the vehicle was stolen from the District office.
“We pressed charges,” Gutierrez said. “So we’re dealing with all of that.”
Gutierrez said whomever stole the Suburban may have had access to a master key, because the gates at the District Office are locked each night.
She said to prevent future issues, they are creating a drop box for the keys.