Ezequiel Conde, about 32, and Joseph Gallegos, about 41, both of Albuquerque, were arrested June 6, a few months after a truck was stolen on March 17 from a Rio Rancho resident’s driveway.
Conde was arrested for battery and robbery. Gallegos was arrested for conspiracy to commit robbery.
According to a criminal complaint filed by the Rio Rancho Police Department with the Sandoval County Magistrate Court, officers responded to a report of a stolen vehicle near NM 528 and Sierra Blanca Drive. The caller said they were attacked in their driveway and thrown from their vehicle while they were grabbing some items from it.
The vehicle was then taken by the suspect in an unknown direction.
The victim told police they were removing items from their vehicle, a purple truck, when they were grabbed from behind and thrown to the ground, though there were no injuries. At no point did they see their attacker as they were attacked from behind but believed it was a male.
After talking to the victim, a neighborhood canvass was conducted by officers in an attempt to locate any camera that might have recorded evidence.
A camera on a neighbor’s roof provided a clear video of the attack and showed a red pickup parked in front of that residence at the time of the robbery. It remained parked there until the stolen vehicle exited the driveway.
RRPD then contacted the Albuquerque Police Real Time Crime Center to check if its license plate readers had captured the stolen vehicle. A report found that the purple vehicle was captured driving in southeast Albuquerque four times from March 18-20.
Then, on April 10, a report from the RRPD Investigations administrative assistant indicated the purple vehicle had been recovered on April 5 by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office at a Maverick gas station near the area of Menaul Boulevard and University Boulevard in Albuquerque with the license plate removed.
Footage showed a male exiting the truck and into another vehicle, where he appeared to be engaging in illicit activities with a second male. After some time had passed, the suspect returned to the stolen vehicle and left the parking lot.
Deputies followed him and initiated a traffic stop. The vehicle drove up Menaul, but quickly returned to the gas station parking lot, where he was taken into custody.
Gallegos told officers he bought the vehicle from someone named “Cheese” at a Motel 6 parking lot for about $400 but was not provided with a bill of sale nor a title for the vehicle.
Officers filed a search warrant for the phone records associated with Gallegos’ number, and from the records — including migrational pattern technology — noted there were more than 20 instances of Gallegos’ phone being utilized on towers in Rio Rancho. Three of those instances were in January, four were in February and the rest were in March and April. Among those, there was only one prior instance of Gallegos’ phone using a tower that serviced the River’s Edge Neighborhood on Feb. 20. After that, there were no instances of the phone utilizing a tower in the River’s Edge Neighborhood until March 17, the day of the robbery. From that date to the end of the records, there were no subsequent records of his phone utilizing cell towers that serviced River’s Edge.
According to the phone records for the day of the theft, two outgoing texts were sent on a tower located in the Rio Vista Park in the River’s Edge neighborhood about 2 1/2 hours before the crime.
In total, there had been communication between Gallegos and that phone number 116 times. The records indicated all the communication between those numbers took place from March 8-19, including messages and voice calls made to and from that number. The largest amount of communication took place on the day of the robbery, though there was no communication during the time of the robbery.
Police discovered the other number belonged to Conde.
On the day of the robbery, a data session record was listed for that number at a cell tower near Central Avenue and San Mateo Boulevard, the same time and location a photo was taken of the stolen truck driving through that intersection. The data session lasted 183 seconds on that tower. A second data session was initiated on a tower near Central Avenue and Wyoming Boulevard for 100 seconds, one minute after Albuquerque Police Department’s license plate reader recorded the stolen truck driving through that intersection.
Officers again reached out to Gallegos by phone, asking about how he obtained the stolen vehicle. He reiterated the story he provided the detective, saying that he had bought the truck from an individual in a Motel 6 parking lot. According to him, he had found the truck on an app, but he couldn’t remember the name of the app and said he no longer had it installed on his phone. He said that two males drove into the parking lot of the Motel 6 when they sold him the truck. This time, Gallegos insisted that he had been provided with a bill of sale, contrary to the information that he had provided the detective.
He said he was unable to provide any name, adding that he had never met the individual before and he had deleted their phone number.
After hanging up the phone, officers sent a photo of Conde to Gallegos asking if he recognized him and received no response. The following day, they sent another text telling Gallegos that if he had evidence that backed up his story, it would be in his best interests to provide that evidence, again with no reply.
Officers then went to Conde’s home, where they found a red truck matching the vehicle that was recorded driving away from the crime scene. When officers ran the plate, it belonged to Conde’s address. Officers then spoke Conde’s mom, the registered owner of the vehicle, who confirmed the truck was hers. When asked if Conde was home, she said that he lived in the trailer on the side of their home. She went into the trailer, where officers heard her speak with someone, but after about 20 seconds, she came out alone, saying Conde wasn’t home. However, officers heard what seemed to be the sound of a door or window locking coming from the trailer.
After seeing the vehicle from the crime scene at Conde’s house, officers filed a search warrant for Conde’s phone records, which showed a data session placed on a cell tower located near NM Highway 550 and NM Highway 528 March 17. Around the time of the robbery, there was a data session on a cell tower located at the Rio Vista Park located in the River’s Edge II neighborhood. The cell towers used for subsequent data sessions indicated a route through Corrales, down Coors Boulevard and onto Paseo Del Norte toward Albuquerque.
Officers also reviewed the calls and texts made by Conde’s cellphone. An outgoing call to Gallegos was placed on the cell tower near NM Highway 528 and NM Highway 550 at the time of the robbery. Following that, there were outgoing calls, again to Gallegos, on a cell tower near Corrales Road and E La Entrada and a cell tower near Interstate 25 and Paseo Del Norte.
Based on finding the suspect vehicle at Conde’s residence, his relationship to Gallegos, and the information the information found in Conde’s phone records, police believe Conde carried out the robbery.
If convicted, Gallegos would face up to three years for conspiracy to commit robbery, and Conde would face 3 1/2 years for robbery and battery.