A residential burglary in Carnuel led to a SWAT team rescuing a puppy this week, according to a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department.
“A home was burglarized by an unidentified offender while the homeowners were asleep inside the home,” APD spokesman Tanner Tixier wrote to The Independent. “When the victims awoke, they found numerous items missing from the home including a lap-top computer belonging to Sandia National Labs, the victim’s purse, keys to their Audi SUV, and other personal items. In addition, they found the garage door open and the Audi having been stolen.”
The Audi had a tracking system installed, and that morning, police started tracking the signal near Juan Tabo and Copper in Albuquerque, Tanner said. They followed the signal to a residence where it was backed into a driveway and unoccupied.
“Foothills Impact Detectives responded to the area and began conducting surveillance on the vehicle,” Tanner wrote. “A male subject exited the garage of the home and placed a small brown dog in the stolen vehicle. The driver observed the police presence and began driving in a very dangerous and erratic manner.”
Because of the danger, police did not pursue the stolen vehicle, Tanner said. Picking up the tracking signal again, the vehicle was recovered where it had been abandoned near Indian School and Eubank.
Police identified the driver as Dennis James Griego after “intensive investigation,” Tanner said. Griego “has an extensive felony criminal history and is currently on probation for numerous violent and property based offenses. The subsequent investigation connected [Griego] to multiple home invastion style residential burglaries similar to the one described above. … During one of those incidents, the homeowner’s puppy was stolen.” Tanner said.
Police got a felony warrant for Griego’s arrest. He was believed to be armed and known to be dangerous, Tanner said.
The Carnuel break-in had taken place in the early hours of April 27. On April 28, the Foothills Impact Detectives recovered a stolen Mazda SUV belonging to the owner of the stolen puppy. “The vehicle was parked in front of a home being occupied by [Griego’s] girlfriend’s mother. The home was already posted substandard and was being unlawfully leased,” Tanner wrote. Two arrests were made at the time of the vehicle recovery.
The next day, April 29, detectives located Griego at a home in Carnuel. “[Griego] refused officers’ commands to come out and so SWAT/CNT was activated,” Tanner wrote. After a standoff lasting several hours, Griego was taken into custody without incident.
Located inside the home was the stolen puppy, which was rescued and reunited with its owner.