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Weekly Police Activity

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Gamerco, May 1

McKinley County Sheriff’s deputies caught a man from Indiana trying to transport a stolen vehicle.

On May 1, around 5:45 pm, McKinley County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandi Garnenez was on traffic duty on US. Hwy. 491 when she found a man named James Purkey driving a 2002 silver Dodge Dakota with an Arizona license plate that she believed had been stolen.

As Metro Dispatch was confirming whether or not the vehicle was stolen, Purkey, 55, pulled into a Gas Max station. Garnenez followed him to the gas station, and found him parked at a pump. Purkey had reportedly gotten out of the vehicle and was holding a bag.

Another deputy arrived at the scene to help Garnenez arrest Purkey. The deputies found a pocketknife in Purkey’s pocket.

Garnenez asked Purkey where he got the vehicle and he stated that he got it from a woman in Arizona, who allegedly loaned it him for $150 early that morning. He said he was headed back home to Indiana to visit his sister.

Purkey was charged with receiving or transporting a stolen vehicle. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 22.



Gallup, May 1

A man was caught driving a moped with meth hidden in his pants.

On May 1, around 2 pm, Gallup Police Officers Lionel Desiderio and Timothy Hughte were on duty when they came upon a man riding a black moped. The man was identified as Mohammed Uweis, 55.

The officers had Metro Dispatch look Uweis up, and they found that he had a warrant out for trafficking a controlled substance. The officers tried to pull Uweis over on East Aztec Avenue, but he didn’t stop, and kept driving toward Lava Smoke Shop, 1208 E. Hwy. 66. He turned north into the parking lot and made his way toward Burke Drive, heading southbound and running a stop sign.

He continued toward Aztec Avenue and turned westbound toward Ford Drive, still refusing to stop for a red light at the intersection. But eventually, he had to stop in the Dynamite Furniture parking lot, 1102 E. Hwy. 66 after his scooter chain became defective.

When the officers caught up with Uweis and told him he had an outstanding warrant, he told them he’d “taken care” of it. The officers found two plastic baggies with methamphetamine inside them strapped to his right ankle. Uweis admitted that the substance was meth, and when Desiderio took it back to the lab he found that it was 2.6 grams of the illegal drug.

Uweis was arrested for his outstanding warrant, possession of a controlled substance, and resisting arrest. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 15.



Gallup, March 23

Police caught a man who reportedly broke into a woman’s truck and stole her phone.

On March 23, around 5 am, Gallup Police Officer Vincent Thompson  was dispatched to the Super 8 Motel at 1715 Hwy. 66 after a woman reported that a man, who was later identified as Philbert Billy, broke into her car.

When Thompson arrived at the scene, he found the victim standing in front of a white Dodge Ram truck with a Michigan license plate. The victim said she’d locked her truck around 7 pm on April 22 before she went into her motel room. But when she went to unlock it that morning, she found someone sleeping in the driver’s seat.

According to Thompson’s report, Billy, 19, jumped out from the driver’s seat with a fuzzy blanket over his head. He then allegedly started running westbound, saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

The victim said she wasn’t able to get a clothing description of the man because it was dark out. She said she did try chasing after him for a while, but then she had to stop.

The woman said her phone had been stolen.

Thompson reportedly found fingerprints on the truck’s window, but the vehicle wasn’t damaged.

Officers eventually found Billy walking southbound on Clark Street. He had a fuzzy blanket on his head. He did reportedly try to run from the officers, throwing his blanket and a backpack on the ground before heading southbound.

When officers finally caught up to Billy, they found the victim’s phone in his pants’ pocket. He was arrested and charged with burglary of a vehicle, resisting arrest, criminal damage to property (under $1,000), and larceny (over $250 but not more than $500). His preliminary hearing was scheduled for May 8.

Staff Reports