Arizona residents charged with Crouch Mesa vehicle theft

The Daily Times staff
Alberto Lopez

FARMINGTON — Two Arizona residents were arrested last week in Farmington for allegedly stealing a vehicle and breaking into a house, according to a press release from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office.

Casandra Morales, 22, and Alberto Lopez, 18, allegedly stole a Jeep and broke into a Crouch Mesa residence on Jan. 8.

Police believe Morales and Lopez could also be involved in another vehicle theft out of Arizona, according to the press release.

Cassandra Morales

Morales and Lopez allegedly broke into a Crouch Mesa residence on County Road 3320 on Jan. 8. According to the press release, they told detectives they broke into the house to stay warm, but the house was also cold. Morales and Lopez allegedly left the house and saw a Jeep running outside a different Crouch Mesa residence.

The press release states that the owner had started the Jeep to let it warm up. It was reportedly stolen at approximately 4:45 a.m. Jan. 8.

Farmington Police Department officers saw the stolen vehicle and followed it to Kirtland. Morales and Lopez allegedly left the Jeep in a well-hidden driveway and asked a nearby homeowner for a ride into Farmington.

San Juan County Sheriff's Office detectives found Morales and Lopez sitting in front of Salvation Army.

Another stolen vehicle from Arizona was found Monday near the house that Lopez and Morales allegedly broke into on Jan. 8 in Crouch Mesa. According to the press release, Lopez and Morales are also suspects in the Arizona vehicle theft. 

Morales has been charged with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony. Lopez has been charged with breaking and entering and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle. Both charges are fourth-degree felonies.

Their preliminary examinations are scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday at Aztec Magistrate Court.

According to the press release, officers are still investigating the case and Lopez and Morales could face additional charges.