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Armed robberies come with death toll

Yoan Pena Santiesteban is led out of the Guadalupe County Magistrate Court in Santa Rosa. (M.E. Sprengelmeyer/The Guadalupe County Communicator )

Armed robberies aren’t just about money.

People get killed.

Yoan Pena Santiesteban

In Albuquerque, that’s at least five people in the last three months.

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Here are the cases:

• In July, 36-year-old Jaime Dimas of Albuquerque was shot near San Mateo and Ortiz SE during or just after an armed robbery attempt at a local restaurant in broad daylight.

Police have been closed mouthed about the investigation and have not said whether Dimas was a target, a witness or an innocent bystander.

Celina Arrellanes was shot and killed during armed robbery in Southeast Albuquerque. (Courtesy of Michelle Macias)

Matthew Severinghaus was shot and killed in his car outside his home in Northeast Albuquerque.

Samir Al-Abboudy was found shot and killed at a motel on Menaul near Princeton NE.

Detectives said they are looking for a 25-year-old Native American male with long black hair in a ponytail, a Hispanic female with dark complexion and short dark hair, and a white female with long blonde hair who may have information about the crime.

• In June, 25-year-old Janette Medina was killed outside a home in the 100 block of Hilton NW by a man who took her car keys and fled in the vehicle at about 10:30 p.m. The assailant and Medina knew each other and had a dispute over the car.

According to court records, police believe Gabriel Mariscal, 30, and Morgan Quarles III, 22, broke into the house demanding the car keys when Mariscal got into an altercation with a man in the house, who was shot and critically wounded. Quarles then dragged Medina outside demanding her car keys when he allegedly shot and killed her, then took the car.

Mariscal was arrested, and police are still looking for Quarles, who was on probation after spending a year locked up for an armed robbery in Roswell.

• Yoan Pena Santiesteban is charged with fatally shooting three people while trying to rob them over a 12-day period in May, including a man heading to work from his quiet Foothills neighborhood and a woman who was sitting in her car at a southeast Albuquerque mobile home park.

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A grand jury has charged Santiesteban and his girlfriend Gloria Chavez, 26, with starting the armed robbery-murder spree with the planned armed robbery of Samir Al-Abboudy, 44, who had recently won $22,000 at a casino.

On May 14, police were called to the Days Inn on Menaul near Princeton NE and found Al-Abboudy, lying in a pool of blood in his hotel room and his white Nissan Versa stolen.

On May 24, the couple was looking for methamphetamine and set up a plan to rob a local drug dealer.

Chavez told detectives she arranged to meet a man to buy drugs at a mobile home park on Zuni near Wyoming SE.

She told detectives that when they got there, Santiesteban instead pointed a gun at the man and ordered him to show his hands. The man began to run and Santiesteban fired at least nine rounds at him, according to the complaint.

Some of the bullets hit the car in which the man’s girlfriend was sitting, striking her in the neck.

Celina Arrelanes, 27, was taken to University of New Mexico Hospital, where she died three days later.

On May 26, Matthew Severinghaus, 25, got into his car to go to work at Target.

Chavez told police that Santiesteban blocked the driveway with the Nissan Versa they had stolen from Al-Abboudy.

Court records say Santiesteban walked up to Severinghaus’s car and fired multiple shots into it.

Police allege that Santiesteban then stole Severinghaus’s wallet and tried to use his credit card at a South Valley Bank.

Santiesteban and his girlfriend were arrested in Santa Rosa driving the white Nissan Versa.

Santiesteban faces three murder charges in Bernalillo District Court, as well as for receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Santiesteban is being held without bond.


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