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Auto-theft suspect captured in northwest ABQ

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police have captured a man who they said fled on foot after fleeing in a stolen vehicle near Coors and Iliff in northwest Albuquerque Tuesday night, according to Albuquerque Police Department spokeswoman Tasia Martinez.

Police later identified the man as Michael Salas, 29, who was arrested for receiving and transferring a stolen motor vehicle, a felony warrant and two counts of child abuse because he left his two children and their mother inside the stolen vehicle when he fled from a traffic stop.

An officer spotted a blue GMC pickup truck speeding near Atrisco and Hanover NW and tried to pull the driver over, but he fled, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court Wednesday. A police helicopter found the suspect jumping over backyard fences near 55th and Iliff. He was caught inside of a home on Brice Road NW.

The truck was confirmed to be stolen. Salas told police he fled because he knew the truck was stolen. He was booked into jail on $32,500 bail.

Eddie Gallegos, who resides in the house where Salas was captured, said he was watching TV when the man banged on his window asking for help. Gallegos said he was afraid that the man might be armed so he alerted his roommate who was in the next room.

Gallegos said Salas offered them $300 to let him in.

“My roommate’s smarter than I am and less greedy, and he’s the one who said, ‘no he’s got to go,’”Gallegos said.

Salas entered through a backdoor when Gallegos and his roommate left the house during the manhunt.

“We could see him following us, pleading with us not to turn him in,” Gallegos said.

Several witnesses said that police fired flash grenades outside of the house before police took the man into custody.

K9 units helped search for the man, Martinez said.