Home News Local News Suspect pleads not guilty in vehicle theft from dealership

Suspect pleads not guilty in vehicle theft from dealership

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A man accused of breaking into a car dealership, stealing a vehicle and then fleeing police pleaded not guilty to several criminal counts at an arraignment Monday in New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District Court in Chaves County.

Ruben Coronado (Submitted Photo)

Electronic court records state Ruben Coronado, 31, of Roswell, waived his right to a formal reading of charges and entered a formal plea of not guilty to three counts of larceny over $250 and one count each of non-residential burglary; unlawful taking of a vehicle or motor vehicle; receiving or transferring stolen vehicles or motor vehicles; and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.

Coronado faces charges for allegedly breaking into a 1300 block of Southeast Main Street dealership on March 8 and driving an orange 2019 Dodge Challenger off the dealership lot. He was apprehended by Roswell Police officers the following morning.

According to court documents, Coronado is alleged to have broken the window of the dealership on March 8 at 11:57 p.m, entered the building and taken keys to a Jeep Wrangler from the office.

Security camera footage from the dealership reportedly shows Coronado exiting the building and looking into the windows of two Jeeps before going back into the building, coming out, climbing into a Dodge Challenger and then driving away.

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The next morning, a dealership employee contacted police to report the break-in and stolen vehicle.

A short time later, documents state, a Chaves County Sheriff’s deputy spotted an orange Challenger and unsuccessfully tried to conduct a traffic stop on it.

Coronado was located and arrested later that morning in the 300 block of South Main Street. He initially failed to comply with orders from law enforcement, prompting police to extract Coronado from the vehicle, place him on the ground and handcuff him.

Court filings indicate Coronado later admitted to police he had taken the Challenger to investigate what was going on in his personal life, and had planned to return it.

District Judge Dustin K. Hunter on Monday scheduled a jury trial in the case for June 29 at 9 a.m.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.