Man accused of stealing Salvation Army van full of toys arrested in Albuquerque

DA wants to revoke defendant's probation and send him to prison

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Anthony Crespin, 37, was charged on Dec. 18 with a fourth-degree felony count of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, according to court documents.
  • Crespin was arrested on Jan. 7 by the Albuquerque Police Department, according to Farmington police spokesperson Nicole Brown.
  • Crespin has been wanted by law enforcement since an Aug. 31 probation violation warrant was issued, according to court records.

FARMINGTON — The La Plata man accused of stealing a Salvation Army van full of toy donations has been arrested and is being held at the county jail while awaiting a hearing on his alleged probation violations.

Anthony Crespin, 37, was charged on Dec. 18 with a fourth-degree felony count of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, according to court documents.

The defendant allegedly stole a Toyota minivan which belonged to the Salvation Army on Dec. 14 from the parking lot of a Farmington Walmart, according to The Daily Times archives.

He did not have legal representation on the morning of Jan. 18.

Volunteers and Salvation Army employees help distribute gifts as part of the Angel Tree program on Dec. 20. Thousands of gifts were donated after Anthony Crespin allegedly stole minivan full of toys on Dec. 14.

The community stepped up once news of the stolen van was reported, donating toys and gifts to a toy drive aimed at giving 1,500 children in the community a merry Christmas. The theft led to at least 3,000 to 5,000 toy donations along with pledges of more than $50,000 to the Salvation Army Farmington Corps Community Center.

More:Salvation Army estimates 1,500 children blessed with gifts after van theft drives donations

Crespin was arrested on Jan. 7 by the Albuquerque Police Department, according to Farmington police spokesperson Nicole Brown.

Farmington police didn’t have additional information on the arrest on the morning of Jan. 18.

Brown added Crespin was extradited on Jan. 13 and booked into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.

Man accused of van theft

Crespin is accused of stealing a 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan from the parking lot of the Walmart at 4600 E. Main St. in Farmington, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Farmington police were dispatched around 7:21 p.m. on reports of a stolen vehicle.

The Salvation Army business manager enlisted the help of a friend and Crespin to shop for gifts for area children enrolled in its Angel Tree program.

Crespin allegedly stole the van along with $6,000 in gifts while the employee was finishing up the shopping trip. There were about 350 children enrolled in the Angel Tree program.

The van was later recovered in Sandoval County but none of the gifts were found.

Crespin’s first appearance in Farmington Magistrate Court was reset from Jan. 18 to Jan 20, according to court records.

Probation violations for defendant

The San Juan County District Attorney’s Office has filed paperwork to revoke Crespin’s probation from a felony drug conviction and have him serve three years in the New Mexico Department of Corrections, according to court documents.

Crespin has been wanted by law enforcement since an Aug. 31 probation violation warrant was issued, according to court records.

He is accused of multiple probation violations including failing to complete the Drug Court program by being discharged for allegedly possessing drugs with his roommate at the inpatient facility.

A probation violation hearing is set for Feb. 7 in Aztec District Court. 

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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More:Farmington Salvation Army receives $30,000 and hundreds of toy donations for area children