Law enforcement catches fugitive in Gem Village area

Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018 12:29 PM
The La Plata County Sheriff's Office was searching for a fugitive Tuesday in the Gem Village area. The suspect was apparently caught in the 39000 block of U.S. Highway 160, in the Gem Village area.

A man who was arrested in the Gem Village area Tuesday on suspicion of a carjacking in New Mexico was identified Wednesday.

David Garcia, 36, is being held at La Plata County jail and is being charged with aggravated vehicle theft, said Chris Burke, a spokesman for La Plata Sheriff's Office.

He said he expected Garcia to face charges in Sandoval County, but he could not say when Garcia might be sent back to New Mexico.

Garcia was arrested around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when a resident reported a man with a suspicious story approached him in his driveway, La Plata County Sheriff Sean Smith said in an earlier interview. Smith said the call started with a report of a suspicious vehicle near a gas pad in the Gem Village area.

Residents in the Gem Village area and west along the U.S. Highway 160 corridor received a reverse 911 call Tuesday warning them Garcia was in the area.

Helicopters, sheriff's deputies and state troopers were seen in the area searching for Garcia.

The message sent at 2:58 p.m. Tuesday told residents: "This is a message from the La Plata County Sheriff's Office. A wanted male suspect is at large in the area. Please shelter in place, lock all vehicle doors and don't let anyone into your residence. The male subject is described as Hispanic with multiple tattoos on his hands and legs. Unknown clothing description."

A second message was sent about 7:30 p.m. telling residents the suspect had been captured.