Albuquerque police arrest ‘wobbly tire bandit’
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Albuquerque man allegedly used his daughters to steal people’s belongings. Police are calling Abie Chavez the “wobbly tire bandit.”
Chavez was in court Saturday after police arrested him Friday for an unrelated case – where he allegedly stole a car from Las Vegas and drove it to Albuquerque.
Chavez has been on APD’s radar for some time. The police department warned people earlier this month about a man who pretended to help people on the streets with a “wobbly tire.”
In one case, officers say Chavez pulled someone over at the Target in Uptown. New surveillance photos show the suspect’s vehicle following the victim inside the parking lot.
Investigators say Chavez distracted the victim while one of his kid allegedly snuck into the car and took the victim’s purse.
Investigators also received surveillance videos from a Footlocker, showing Chavez on that same day with his two kids. Police say the three later walked out of the store with stolen merchandise.
When detectives learned about the children’s role in the tire scam, they identified them as endangered and missing on Friday.
Chavez is looking at multiple charges including fraud, vehicle burglary, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The state has requested a motion to revoke his probation from a burglary charge last year. As of Saturday night, he is in jail.
- Albuquerque police issue warning about thief targeting drivers
- More victims of ‘wobbly tire’ scam come forward