Man accused of planning vehicle theft

MGN Online

A 24-year-old Hidalgo resident denies being involved in an auto theft from the shop he worked at, but McAllen police say he gave his alleged co-conspirators the vital information they needed to steal the vehicle.

Burglary investigators arrested Derly Alexis Almanza-Ruiz on Nov. 25 and charged him with theft over a stolen 2018 red Jeep Wrangler valued at $39,705.60.

The investigation began on Nov. 18 at approximately 3:41 p.m. when the store manager of the Super Buy at 105 N. Ninth Street called police to report that a customer’s 2018 red Jeep Wrangler had been stolen from their place of business, according to an affidavit.

The store manager told police that Burns Motor had brought the jeep to the Super Buy for some work before it was stolen, police say.

“This morning Super Buy employee Derly Alexis Almanza-Ruiz removed the Jeep from their garage and parked in the front parking lot. Derly left the key inside the Jeep which is a common practice as per (the store manager),” the affidavit states.

The next day, investigators reviewed surveillance video and the offense report and suspected that one of the Super Buy employees, Almanza-Ruiz, may have been involved in the planning and theft of the Jeep, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Police say that surveillance video shows a suspect vehicle, a tan 2001 Chrysler Town & Country van, arrive at the business at around 2:40 p.m. on Nov. 18. The vehicle never stopped at any of the businesses in the area and drove around for seven minutes before driving into the Super Buy parking lot, according to authorities.

“At the time the van drives into the parking lot, all three employees are in the breakroom eating. The suspect knew the key was left inside the Jeep. The Jeep is then seen driving away and is followed by the van,” the charging document states.

On Nov. 20, investigators identified 41-year-old Rosio Magdalena Pulido and her brother, 23-year-old Cesar Dario Pulido, as the people inside the van, according to the affidavit.

McAllen police arrested Cesar on Nov. 21 at 2:19 p.m. at the Hidalgo Port of Entry and say in the affidavit that he agreed to speak with investigators.

“Cesar stated that a male friend of his sister, Rosio, asked them to pick up the Jeep. As per Cesar, the male friend claimed to be the Jeep’s owner and said he wanted to get rid of the Jeep and its payments,” the probable cause affidavit states.

Investigators say Cesar told them that he had a friend, whose name he did not know, that worked at Super Buy and told him the key would be inside the Jeep and all he had to do was push the start button to start the engine, according to the charging document.

A phone number for that friend belonged to Almanza-Ruiz, police say.

Authorities arrested him on Nov. 25 at 906 Produce Park Lane in Hidalgo.

He denied his involvement but did speak with investigators, police say.

“Derly admitted that a few days prior to the theft, Cesar called him and asked if … he knew where he could steal a car. Derly told Cesar that he was working at Super Buy and that they always leave the keys inside the customer’s vehicles. Derly still denied having (any) involvement in the Jeeps theft,” the affidavit states.

Almanza-Ruiz remains jailed on a $20,000 bond while Cesar bailed out on the same amount on Nov. 24.

There is a warrant for Rosio’s arrest for theft.

mreagan@themonitor.com