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Man arrested after stolen rental truck tracked

May 2, 2019

Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputies arrested an Albuquerque man Tuesday after tracking a stolen rental truck holding an estimated $75,000 worth of valuables to a Nambe Pueblo home, according to court records.

The Penske rental truck had been stolen a day earlier in Santa Fe.

The truck’s GPS pinged at a home on Poechunu Poe, just down the road from Nambé Reservoir, where deputies interviewed 34-year-old Joe Vallejos. According to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court, Vallejos initially claimed his cousin had asked him to take the truck from a nearby casino, but Deputy Cody Maycumber wrote in the complaint he was unable to corroborate that story.

Vallejos then told the deputy he had found the truck parked in Santa Fe, and a friend had broken into it and driven it to the pueblo.

He and the friend unloaded the contents — furniture and paintings — at an old gallery on County Road 84, Vallejos said. Officers were able to recover the stolen property and return it to the owner, according to the complaint.

Vallejos is facing charges of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, receiving stolen property, criminal damage to property, conspiracy and larceny.

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