Rio Rancho Police arrested a suspected mail thief they found hiding in a backyard Monday afternoon.

Rio Rancho Police Department

RRPD Lt. Ray Alderete said police responded to reports of a man in a suspicious vehicle going through mail in the area of St. Andrews Drive about 3:10 p.m. Monday. An officer found the vehicle near the intersection of Country Club Drive and Broadmoor Boulevard.

The suspect turned into the gated Renaissance Townhomes community, and the officer followed. When she checked the license plate, she learned the vehicle was stolen, Alderete said.

He said the driver, a man in his mid-20s, fled on foot. Officers set up a perimeter around the gated community and searched yards for about an hour until they found the suspect in one of them.

Alderete said the man, whose identity he didn’t have, would at least be charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and possibly other offenses, as the investigation was ongoing. He said officers recovered stolen mail from inside the stolen vehicle.