ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Fire Rescue crews recently fell victim to thieves. During a call over the weekend, someone took off with one of their rescue trucks. A crew from Fire Station 7 was responding to an EMS call when they discovered their rescue truck had been stolen.
“We were able to recover that vehicle, and it has minimal damage to it. Now from an operational standpoint, we’re looking at options to better secure our units when we’re on scene,” said Lieutenant Tom Ruiz with AFR.
New Mexico State Police eventually tracked down the rescue truck near Grants. NMSP along with Laguna Police followed it at slow speeds. NMSP says they used spike strips to stop the chase.
This isn’t the first time a car thief has targeted AFR. In 2019, Anthony Pacheco was charged after stealing an SUV from Fire Station 5. Pacheco took the SUV on a joy ride, which eventually led to a police chase that ended in Nob Hill.
Ruiz says it’s frustrating that this happens when they’re responding to emergencies. “We’re trying to make sure our firefighters are safe. That’s the most important thing that way they can do their job,” said Ruiz.
Ruiz says the damage to the rescue truck was minimal. The woman, who police say, was driving the truck took off on foot after the chase, and was later arrested. Police are having a hard time identifying her because they say she gave them a fake name.