BRIGHTON, Colo. — Thirteen people have been indicted on more than 120 counts after they allegedly stole vehicles from the Denver International Airport, Adams County and the Denver metro area.
The charges include burglary, aggravated motor vehicle theft, theft and violations of the Colorado Organized Crime Act, according to the 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office.
The Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority's (CATPA) Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force had followed a group of suspects for more than a year ahead of this indictment. Between February 2022 and March 2023, the individuals allegedly stole vehicles from multiple places, including DIA, and used the cars to "smash through the fronts of businesses," the district attorney's office said. The suspects would then put straps around the ATMs inside and pull them out, the district attorney's office said. In other instances, the suspects allegedly stole from stores that sold vaping products.
The group mostly targeted Ford F-150 Raptors, the district attorney's office said, but also stole Jeep Grand Cherokees, Dodge Challengers, and Dodge Chargers. They were able to use a tool to reprogram key fobs to steal the vehicles and would disable the vehicle's GPS tracking system, the district attorney's office said. The vehicles were sometimes sold and other times disassembled for parts, according to the indictment.
In total, the group allegedly stole 59 vehicles and attempted or completed 31 burglaries in Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Denver, Jefferson County, and Logan counties.
Police: 10 Ford trucks stolen at Denver International Airport within a week
According to the indictment, the group would assist each other in evading police. This sometimes included firing a gun to draw police away from a vehicle theft. Police often found guns in the vehicles that were stolen, the document reads.
The defendants, and their current status, have been identified as:
- David Nava Delgado: In custody
- Carlos Nava Delgado: In custody
- Jorge Cadena Lujan: In custody
- Stephanie Reza Ramos: In custody
- Rene Ruiz Ochoa: In custody
- Cesar Poblano Hernandez: In custody
- Brian Valladares: In custody
- Rodrigo Perez-Gonzalez: In custody
- Hector Escalera Hernandez: In custody in Mexico
- Marc Morales Cisneros: At-large
- Cruz Cordova: At-large
- Jose Merino Ramos: At-large
- Alejandro Silva-Vasquez: At-large in Mexico
Multiple agencies were involved in this investigation, including the CATPA and its Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force, and Colorado State Patrol's Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center (ATICC) and Beat Auto Theft Through Law Enforcement (BATTLE).
The indictment was signed on Sept. 29 by 17th Judicial District Judge Donald Quick.
For years, Denver7 has shared the community's stories of their stolen vehicles from DIA. Nearly 400 vehicles were reported stolen from DIA parking lots between Jan. 1 and July 31, 2023, according to DIA.
Law enforcement searches for solutions to DIA's growing auto theft problem
In late August, the airport, in partnership with the Denver Police Department, announced new measures to address auto and catalytic converter thefts within the airport’s parking lots, which incorporate more than 40,000 public spaces.
This included increased patrols, HALO cameras, stolen vehicle alerts, the DenverTrack program, free catalytic converter etching and protections kits, and free steering wheel lock distributions.
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