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Three people caught stealing from Automotive Machine Works

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Three people were caught stealing tools from a local car shop.

On May 29, around 6:27 pm, Gallup Police Officer Ryan Boucher was dispatched to Automotive Machine Works, 206 S. Second St., because of a burglary. The caller said he could see people going into the business.

When Boucher arrived on the scene, he reportedly saw a man wearing a black shirt running south across I-40.

After being advised to move his patrol car to Second Street, Boucher saw a man wearing a black hoodie. Boucher was able to detain the man, who was later identified as Christopher Begay, 30, and placed him in the backseat of his patrol car.

According to Boucher’s report, Begay smelled like gasoline and oil. He also noticed that Begay had grease on his hands, hoodie, pants, and sneakers.

After Boucher had detained Begay, he noticed Sgt. John Gonzales and Lt. Mark Spencer walking from the north side of the business with a man and woman in handcuffs. The man was identified as Bartholomew Whitegoat, 37,  and the woman was Shayann Jim, 23.

According to Boucher’s report, Automotive Machine Work’s door was open and a fence on the west side of the business had a large hole cut out of it.

When the officers entered the building, Boucher noticed greasy footprints on the floor next to the door.

A witness told Boucher that she had seen Begay throw a backpack over the business’s fence.

Gonzales found tools in Jim’s backpack, and large bolt cutters in Whitegoat’s backpack. Boucher also found a set of channel locks Jim’s bag.

Jim stated that she had only met Whitegoat an hour ago, and that he had given her the tools.

When Boucher talked to Whitegoat, he confirmed that he’d only just met Jim. He said he’d been “set up” and that two men had come out of the business and jumped him. Boucher noticed that Whitegoat had dried blood on his lips.

When Boucher spoke with Begay, he at first gave a false name. He then claimed that he’d just been sleeping when police arrived on the scene, and then he’d just started running when he saw the cops.

Begay claimed he had no idea what was going on at the business. He said his clothes were greasy because he’d been helping a friend fix a toilet. But then Begay changed his story, saying he’d been fixing his uncle’s car, saying that they “changed the part underneath the car that looks like a toilet.”

Begay, Whitegoat, and Jim were all charged with burglary and conspiracy. All three of their preliminary hearings were on June 8.