PCSO: San Tan Valley man admits to 25 car thefts, other crimes

Rojelio Armenta (Courtesy of PCSO)

Rojelio Armenta (Courtesy of PCSO)

Rojelio Armenta, 18, of San Tan Valley was arrested Nov. 30 after conducting what deputies from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office called a “one-man crime spree.”

Mr. Armenta has admitted to 25 car thefts, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office. In addition, county Sheriff Paul Babeu says his detectives have linked the suspect to several burglaries, an armed robbery, endangerment, credit card fraud and felony flight law enforcement, according to the release.

The arrest came after a Pinal County deputy, who was patrolling near Bella Vista Road and Hunt Highway in San Tan Valley, observed a white Chevrolet sedan pass by him. The deputy had been notified one hour earlier that a white Chevrolet sedan had been stolen from a nearby neighborhood and this vehicle matched the description, according to the release.

After confirming the vehicle’s license plate matched the one stolen earlier that day, the deputy attempted to stop the vehicle but the driver fled at a high rate of speed. After a few minutes of chasing the vehicle in and around the residential neighborhood north and east of that location, he lost sight of the vehicle, according to the release.

A second deputy located the vehicle moments later abandoned in the 31000 block of North Candlewood Road. The suspect was spotted running through residential yards and jumping walls. The deputies in the area chased the suspect on foot for approximately 15 minutes, aided by the PCSO Air Unit, until he was captured at Hunt Highway and Paso Fino Trail. The deputies found a stolen wallet and credit cards inside the vehicle the suspect was driving, according to the release.

“When our detectives interviewed Mr. Armenta, he admitted to a spree of crimes over the past few weeks. He claimed to have stolen 25 cars, six of which we have confirmed he stole in Pinal County. We have also linked him to an armed robbery outside a home in San Tan Valley on Nov. 28, as well as several burglaries, thefts and credit card frauds in San Tan Valley, Maricopa County and the town of Gilbert,” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said in the release. “When Mr. Armenta was booked into the Pinal County jail, he was found to be hiding 2.1 grams of heroin in-between his toes. He is being held in custody in the PCSO jail. His charges, so far, include: six counts of vehicle theft, armed robbery, three counts of burglary, two counts of credit card fraud, endangerment, felony flight, possession of narcotics and promoting prison contraband. This is a serious criminal, who victimized many in our community and richly deserves justice.”

For more information about PCSO, visit its website at www.pinalcountyaz.gov.

The Queen Creek Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.