The Emotional Road Trip
One couple were driving home from a long journey, but little did they know, things were about to get a whole lot bumpier. Tired on route home, the young couple decided to stop off at a hotel for the night.
Resting Up For A Fresh Start
The couple had suspected nothing horrible to happen when they parked their black SUV and U-Haul trailer outside of Albuquerque’s Residence Inn hotel. The two of them went directly to bed and were expecting to get a smooth start in the morning. They had another thing coming.
Missing In Action
As they drifted off to sleep, thieves were lurking in the darkness and looking for a good steal. They thought they found that in the couple’s U-Haul.
Woke Up To A Nightmare
When the couple woke up on September 11, 2017, they quickly discovered that their SUV and trailer were stolen. Staff at the hotel could immediately see that the couple was visibly shaken. Anyone would be after getting their U-Haul stolen.
Making A Long Trip
They were on a long trip from Oklahoma to Kirtland, New Mexico. They had arrived in Albuquerque pretty late and decided to stop there and head for Kirtland first thing in the morning. It was this trip that would turn their whole life around and give these thieves the opportunity to steal a big score.
A Common Problem
Unfortunately, U-Haul thefts have become quite a common problem in recent years. Thieves assume that a U-Haul has lots of valuables stored inside of them. U-Hauls in hotel parking lots are also very common targets.
Not As It Seemed
That said, when it comes down to this case things are very far from the norm. The thieves would soon find this out for themselves…..
The woke up on that September morning at 8:30 a.m. and were very eager to check out and get back out onto the road. That when they saw that their SUV and U-Haul were gone.
They immediately called the police and reported their missing vehicle and trailer. Tanner Tixier, who was one of the first officers on the scene stated that everyone was extremely emotional.
All Shook Up
Cops definitely have one of the toughest jobs out there and they often see some really intense crimes. Despite that, when the officers heard the details of what was in the trailer, they knew they wouldn’t be forgetting this case anytime soon. According to the couple, those crooks were driving around with a load that didn’t obtain furniture.
Shocked Many People
“This one really kind of shocked a lot of people up,” said Tanner Tixier. Most cops wouldn’t want to touch a case like this, but feeling aside, these cops had a duty and had to solve this crime and do it quickly. A team of cops was immediately put on the case and they would go to any lengths to get back that U-Haul.
To the couple’s relief, the U-Haul was found not too far away from where it was stolen. It was ditched and left only a few blocks from the hotel. The U-Haul was completely intact and nothing looked to be wrong. The cops came to the conclusion that the thieves decided to abandon the SUV and U-Haul once they found out what was inside.
Quite A Normal Sight
Once they discovered what was in the U-Haul, they felt grossed out knowing that they got as close as they did. They left the U-Haul in a residential neighborhood. A local Albuquerque resident named Michael Ayers lives right across the street from where the thieves dumped the stolen SUV and U-Haul trailer. The shocked resident didn’t hold back from speaking his mind.
A Curious Discovery
Nothing looked very strange about the situation according to Ayers, “I saw the U-Haul truck there earlier this morning and didn’t think anything of it,” he said. Anyone would have felt the same. Seeing a U-Haul parked in a neighborhood won’t exactly cause suspicion amongst neighbors. He came to the conclusion that someone just bought some new furniture or was moving out.
The staff at the hotel was quick to help out the police and luckily for the couple, they didn’t have to wait around for fingerprints to be processed. The hotel’s patrons recalled seeing a red pickup truck at the scene of the crime. Cops had heard of this pickup truck before. Apparently, it had been reported stolen.
Not much later, officers with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office saw the truck driving around and engaged in a pursuit that began along the I-25 highway. It was a long and dragged out chase. The cops weren’t going to let this truck get away and they continued on his tail. This criminal wasn’t going to pull over without a fight.
“BCSO deputies were involved in a pursuit with a stolen red Chevy pickup truck that tried to hit a deputy,” Officer Tixier would later confirm in a media interview. The common crook in the red truck proved that he couldn’t out run or out smart the police. He quickly found himself with no where to run and had to give himself up.
The police brought the chase to an end and had successfully arrested all three of their suspects: Daniel Gonzales, Anthony Serna, and Jeremy Soliz. It looks like they were going to spend some time behind bars. But what about the others?
Gonzales and Soliz already had warrants out for their arrest from a past crime. Soliz was going away for an additional few years for trying to flee from the police in a stolen truck.
Not So Smart
While the criminal did exercise some common sense by doing their robbing at night, they still didn’t think their crime through. Every crime involving some kind of break in should feature a pair of glove. These multiple time offenders totally skipped out on that tool. Their fingerprints were left all over the U-Haul and SUV. One has to question if these crooks were looking to be caught.
The police of New Mexico are no fools. They knew immediately knew that these three cooks were guilty of stealing the U-Haul, but they wanted to make sure that they had collected enough evidence to put these guys away without a chance of them slipping through the cracks. Before anything, they decided to wait for the DNA evidence to come through.
All three men have been in custody before, but this meant very little to Serna and Soliz. They continued committing crimes despite their past. At the time of the U-Haul theft, Serna and Soliz were awaiting trial whilst on bail for a separate crime. Soliz also had been arrested in the past for being in possession of substances.
Multiple Time Offenders
They have learned nothing from their long history with crime. These common crooks pulled off one heck of an amateur job. They hacked what man would find to be an easy task and will now spend multiple years in prison for an attempt at stealing a U-Haul truck.
In Deep Trouble
Out of the tree crooks, Gonzales was perhaps in the deepest trouble. The young man pleaded guilty to receiving and transferring a stolen car. At the time of U-Haul theft, he already had a warrant and a court order to take mandated counseling. He and Soliz were scheduled to appear in court the day after their arrest, but Serna would have to wait a week.
The whole case was wrapped up within two days. Just 48 hours after stealing the SUV and U-Haul and the thieves were already charged and being sent to prison. Who was responsible for this quick arrest. It was Serna. In the hopes that he’d get leniency, he called the police and told them where the trailer was. He also said that he wanted to report the findings immediately, but that the guys stopped him from doing so.
The Moment Of Truth
The thieves never expected to find what they found in that truck. They were looking forward to a car full of stolen furniture, televisions and things of that nature. These items can mean big money for the common crook. What they found was furtherest thing from furniture that you can imagine.
Inside The Trailer
When these three thieves opened up that U-Haul, what they found inside was a casket. Picture that moment of awkward silence when they discovered that. In the casket were the remains of the young woman’s father. They were freaked out by the coffin and decided to abandon the SUV and U-Haul.
Crime In Vain
These three guys weren’t the most educated crooks on the streets, especially if it took a coffin to throw them out of shape. They basically found themselves on the wanted list for stealing a truck and parking it a few blocks away. They definitely have lost quite a few years for their crime. These guys couldn’t have been very happy with themselves.
Why Was It There?
Many will question why this young woman was transferring her dad’s corpse in a U-Haul. The reason is that she had to bury him in Kirtland, New Mexico. That completely explains why she was so hysterical when she lost the U-Haul. Imagine losing your father’s body and wondering if you’d ever see him again. Police rushed to find the U-Haul when they heard a corpse was involved.
What A Relief
The condition of the body had to weigh heavy on the couple’s mind. They didn’t want to get the body back in some kind of disrespected condition. Having him stolen was bad enough, she did not want to get him back in bad condition, but in New Mexico, the sun burns bright and anything could happen. She begged the police to check on her father’s body.
Checking On The Body
Upon checking out the stolen U-Haul and SUV, they searched the casket’s contents and were able to assure the woman that the body was in good condition. That said, the police didn’t let the couple leave upon finding their father’s remains. Many of you are probably wondering why they couldn’t just hit the road again.
Looking For Clues
There wasn’t some law in New Mexico that condemned people for transporting dead bodies over state lines or anything. The cops held them up so that they could build a case. This means that they would dust for fingerprints and search for other forms of evidence. It was important for them to catch these thieves and they would work at no end to nail these guys.
Back On Track
Once the crooks were nabbed, the young couple was given back their U-Haul and SUV. They hit the road to bury their father feeling in high spirits that the New Mexico police were able to help them. On an upside, the woman’s dad got to have one more adventure before he was buried. That is definitely a story to tell the grandchildren.
Job Well Done
In the end, everyone got what they were looking for. The couple got their SUV and U-Haul, the police got the crooks and were able to make the state of New Mexico just a little safer. The crooks got nice sentences in prison and won’t be stealing any more fathers anytime soon. Officer Tixier closed the case with this statement, “For the family, absolutely, that’s our biggest relief.”