An Albuquerque man could face more than five years in prison after being accused of driving a stolen vehicle, then trying to run from the police in late January.
At about 8:50 a.m. Jan. 24, a Rio Rancho police officer saw a red Kia Optima with a license plate belonging to a stolen grey 2015 Nissan Sentra.
The officer located the Kia parked at a Smith’s gas pump. When he confronted the driver, 33-year-old Michael Arnold, the suspect started running.
Arnold ran through the gas station parking lot and into a parking lot aisle before running into the front of a Dodge Ram and falling to the ground, according to a criminal complaint.
While the chase was going on, the passenger of the Kia scooted over to the driver’s seat and drove away. No pursuit was initiated.
The officers searched Arnold and found a small Ziploc bag in his jeans coin pocket that had two rocks of a crystallized substance identified as meth. They also discovered he had a window punch, an emergency window punch, a seat belt cutter, and hammer in his jacket, and two driver’s licenses that did not belong to him, the complaint states.
The Albuquerque Police Department later found the Kia unoccupied at Coors Boulevard and Iliff Road. APD confirmed that the Kia had been stolen.
Arnold is accused of receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle, possession of burglary tools, receiving stolen property ($250 or less), resisting, evading or obstructing an officer (arrest) and possession of a controlled substance.
He waived his preliminary hearing that was scheduled for April 27. The case is headed to district court, though no appearance date has been set.
If convicted, Arnold could face up to six years in prison and pay a $16,500 fine.