One very strange story occurred in New Mexico that really brings these lessons home. A couple was transporting a U-Haul trailer on a long trip across several states and decided to rest their bodies at a hotel for the night. When they woke up the next day, they discovered that their worst possible fears had come true: their vehicle and the trailer were both gone. This was no typical case of stealing, though. What happened next was something that even police say they will never forget.
A Huge Mistake
When a group of thieves stole an SUV that had a U-Haul trailer attached last September, they had no idea what they were getting themselves into. What they thought was a very normal crime ended up being something a bit more strange.
They found the SUV and trailer outside of a hotel in New Mexico and sped off with it all, but they did not realize that they would soon regret the choice after looking inside the U-Haul. They came across the unexpected.
The Emotional Road Trip
When most people take to the road with a U-Haul strapped to their truck, it is assumed they are about to embark on a new beginning. This couple’s situation was quite different. They were somber in their travel.
Little did they know, things were about to get even worse for them as they cruised down the New Mexico highway. Tired, the couple began looking for a place to stop for the night. This would be their first big mistake.
When a woman and her husband parked their black SUV and U-Haul trailer outside of the Residence Inn in Albuquerque, they didn’t have any reason to expect anything bad would happen. Why and how could they.
They went to sleep in there hotel beds and expected to get a fresh start in the morning. Little did they know, they would be in for a very rude awakening, an awakening they’d remember for the rest of their lives.
Missing In Action
As this couple was sleeping tight in their beds, criminals were awake and up to no good. When this couple woke up on September 11, 2017, they found that their SUV and trailer and everything in the trailer had been stolen from the parking lot.
Imagine the shock of finding a U-Haul missing? There goes everything you own. The couple was visibly shaken by this petty crime that they had fallen victim to. In an instant, their whole lives were changed and they’d have to start all over.
Making A Long Trip
On this day, the couple had been in the middle of a long trip from Oklahoma to Kirtland, New Mexico. They decided to stop for the night in Albuquerque since they had arrived in the city pretty late. This was their big mistake.
When they stopped to rest, however, it gave the group of thieves the perfect opportunity to pilfer their SUV and U-Haul trailer. Why wouldn’t they nab this truck full of priceless items? Any criminal would be thinking the same thing.
A Common Problem
If you think this kind of crime is rare, we’re sorry to tell you that it isn’t. Thievery of U-Hauls and other rental trucks is not an uncommon problem. Thieves assume there are valuables inside that can be stolen and transported easily within the truck.
Vehicles can often be stolen from hotels, too. But in this case, the situation was much different from the norm – as the thieves would soon learn for themselves. This was actually one of the strangest things they’ve ever stolen.
On the morning of September 11, 2017, the couple emerged from the motel at 8:30 a.m., eager to get back on the road. That’s when they saw that the SUV and U-Haul trailer were missing. Their hearts were completely shattered.
The woman in particular “was extremely emotional,” said Albuquerque police officer Tanner Tixier in a later news interview. We’ll soon find out why the woman was so sad about the missing truck and what it meant to her.
All Shook Up
Although cops obviously see all kinds of crimes in their daily work, the officer would admit that after learning all of the details, this is one that he would not soon forget. They didn’t hold back their manpower and were immediately on the scene.
Based on the facts given to them by the couple, the thieves were carrying a load with them that didn’t exactly obtain items that you can put in your living room. It contained something that nobody would ever expect.
Shocked Many People
“This one really kind of shocked a lot of people up,” said Tanner Tixier. Not long after the crime was reported, the police received some news. Despite how the cops felt about handling this issue, they had to do their duty.
A team of cops was put on the case and they would solve this case by any means necessary. They covered the city block by block and were determined the find the stolen truck and find the people who stole it. They were going to solve this case.
Fortunately for the owners of the SUV, the vehicle and U-Haul trailer were found not too far away. In fact, they were abandoned several blocks from the hotel. Better yet, the thieves had left the cargo intact.
Once the police realized what was in the trailer, they realized why the thieves decided to abandon the trailer altogether. Prepare yourself to be amazed by the reason why they would abandon this truck of supposed goods.
Quite A Normal Sight
The thieves didn’t dare get near what was in the U-Haul. Once they discovered what was inside they carelessly abandoned it in a residential neighborhood right along side some houses. The cops approached it caution as they all knew what was inside.
Michael Ayers, a resident of Albuquerque, lives in the home across the street from where the thieves abandoned the stolen SUV and U-Haul trailer. He didn’t hold back from making any comments. The minute he could, he started talking.
A Curious Discovery
At first, Ayers said that he didn’t really think anything was strange about the situation. “I saw the U-Haul truck there earlier this morning and didn’t think anything of it,” he said. His reaction was understandable because we’d all feel this way.
Tell me how many times a U-Haul parked in a residential neighborhood caught your attention. He figured that the neighbors were just moving some furniture into the home. This would cause alarm to nobody on anyday.
Fortunately for the couple and the police, there was no need to wait for the fingerprint information to come back to ramp up the investigation. A few hotel patrons had spotted a red pickup truck at the scene where the crime happened.
Police found out that the vehicle had also been stolen and decided to look for it. They knew exactly where they would look first. They had a number of suspects in mind. Just who would this hunches lead them to?
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 that took them through the city and on the highways.
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. He started driving erratically and trying to throw the police off his trails. He was causing danger to everyone on the highway.
“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. This is when they knew that they’d have to take some serious measures against these no good crooks.
The criminal behind the wheel wasn’t good enough to outfox the police and he quickly found that there was no escape from the cops. They eventually got him and took him in. This is when the case was starting to crack completely.
The police eventually brought the chase to an end and arrested three suspects: Daniel Gonzales, Anthony Serna and Jeremy Soliz. The men looked nothing short of absolute criminals. They definitely gave out those hard criminal vibes.
Of the three, Gonzales and Serna already had warrants out for their arrest before this particular crime. Soliz’s crimes would include fleeing from the police in the chase on I-25. His sentence would likely be shorter.
Not So Smart
While the crooks did use some common sense when they decided to steal in the late night hours, they didn’t really think through the crime. These common crooks forgot every thief’s essential tool, a pair of gloves. What were they thinking?
They left their fingerprints all over the U-Haul. It almost looked as if these crooks were hoping to get caught. They did a horrible job. In some places, we could bet that a group of toddlers could pull off a better heist.
The police were smart and knew that the three men were behind the thievery of the SUV and U-Haul trailer, but also wanted to make sure that they had enough evidence to really nail the perpetrators.
They decided to wait for the results of the crime scene investigation to see if fingerprints or DNA evidence could close the case. They just wanted to be absolutely sure that they could put these guys away for a very long time.
The men had all been arrested in the past, but that did not stop Serna and Soliz from committing crimes again. In fact, Serna and Soliz were only out on bail for charges that included auto theft when they were arrested for the most recent theft!
Soliz had also been in trouble for drug possession in the past. These guys sure didn’t learn from their past mistakes as they kept making them. They didn’t even try to think things through. They went on doing the same bad job as they did before.
Multiple Time Offenders
For having such grand criminal records, the three crooks criminals sure did pull off an amateur job when it came to what would probably be a basic job in the criminal world. They were going to go away for a very, very long time.
Now, these three will lose multiple years of their lives based off a petty crime that amounted to nothing for them. We are pretty sure they are sitting in that cell with a lot of regret.
In Deep Trouble
Gonzales was also in deep trouble, having previously pleaded guilty to receiving and transferring a stolen car. He had a warrant out for his arrest after he was ordered to go to court-mandated counseling.
Gonzales and Soliz were set to appear in court the day after their arrest, although Serna wouldn’t have to appear for another week. This would keep him separated from his friends who would likely be very upset with their snitching friend.
Just two days after the thieves took the SUV and trailer, the three suspects were charged with stealing the property. Strangely, Serna was the person who alerted the police about where the SUV and trailer were.
Soliz tried to get leniency by claiming that he wanted to report the findings to the police after their discovery but said that the other guys stopped him. Naturally, they stopped him. Nobody wants to willingly turn themselves into the police.
The Moment Of Truth
When the thieves discovered that U-Haul, they expected to open it up and find a bunch of furniture and other types of goods. The contents inside could mean a lot of big money for someone. They could sell and also keep everything that they’ve found.
This is far from what they found. Picture if you will, three common crooks excitedly opening up a truckload of goods only to find the unthinkable. They were both in shock. They quick abandoned the truck where they parked it and ran away.
Inside The Trailer
When the thieves decided to open up the U-Haul and look inside, they found something shocking: a casket that contained the woman’s father’s remains. Who would ever suspect to find such a thing within the confines of a common U-Haul.
Apparently, though, they were spooked by the discovery and decided to run off and leave the trailer and SUV behind after seeing it. They deserted the vehicle quickly. They figured there would be no profit in stealing a body.
Crime In Vain
We can imagine that they weren’t exactly the most educated bunch, especially if they were that incredibly spooked by a casket. Now they were on the wanted list and for practically nothing beyond taking a truck and moving it a few blocks over.
They went through with the crime and got nothing for their efforts. We imagine that these no good crooks were quite upset with themselves. If your going to do the time, you at least want to do the crime and maybe see something for it.
Why Was It There?
The reason that there were the remains of a woman’s father is that she was transporting the body to Kirtland, New Mexico, to be buried. That’s also why she was so devastated when she thought that the U-Haul had been stolen forever.
Upon investigating the scene, police immediately started looking for the couple’s Chevy Trailblazer. It was also stolen and they needed to find it in order to complete the investigation and send everyone on their way.
What A Relief
One thing that weighed heavy on the couple’s mind was the condition of the body. For all they knew, these guys may have tampered with the body. The last thing the wife wanted was for her father to be messed with while resting in peace.
Having him stolen was bad enough. She begged the police to open the casket and check on her father’s condition. As it would turn out, everything with the father was in place and he wasn’t disturbed from his nap at all.
What A Relief
When the police investigated the SUV and U-Haul trailer, they were able to determine that none of the contents of the casket had been disturbed, which was a huge relief to the woman and her spouse. Still, they couldn’t just jump back on the road to Kirtland.
Why were they held up on the last leg of their trip? I think it’s quite obvious. If they wanted to put these three baddies away for a long time, they would need to have the evidence on hand. They couldn’t let the couple go away so quickly.
Looking For Clues
The couple wasn’t in trouble for some long-forgotten law against transporting dead bodies across straight lines or anything; the cops held them up because they wanted to dust for fingerprints and other evidence.
The minute everything was dusted and well recorded, the couple would be free to go on their way and finally have the funeral. This didn’t take so long for law enforcement to take care of and before they knew it, the couple was good to go.
Back On Track
With their U-Haul returned to them, the couple was free to go on their way. They had to be grateful that the police were able to get back her father. Talk about taking one very big sigh of relief. They would surely never forget this day in their lives.
For the wife’s dad, it looks like he got to have one last adventure before he was buried. This is truly a story to tell the grandchildren. This looks like it will be grandfathers last epic tale in his long life. What a way to go.
Job Well Done
Although the thieves faced the repercussions of their illegal actions, the couple who owned the SUV was satisfied with the quick resolution of the ugly situation. One can’t deny that the police did a good and quick job in retrieving the deceased father.
They were quickly sent on their way and got to take the U-Haul trailer to Kirtland, New Mexico, to bury the woman’s father. “For the family, absolutely, that’s our biggest relief,” Officer Tixier said. We’d say that it was a job well done.