Police arrest suspect accused of stealing truck at gunpoint

Oct. 26—Santa Fe police have arrested a suspect accused of taking a vehicle at gunpoint Wednesday afternoon and later crashing it at Youth Shelters and Family Services on Agua Fría Street.

They have not yet identified a second man involved in the incident.

Isaac Barela, 22, of Santa Fe was booked into the Santa Fe County jail Wednesday on charges of armed robbery, receiving a stolen vehicle, tampering with evidence, resisting an officer and aggravated fleeing from law enforcement.

Officers were dispatched to a gas station on the city's south side around 5 p.m. in response to a report of a robbery.

A man told police he and his father were carjacked at a traffic light at Calle Atajo and Rufina Street, according to a criminal complaint. The man said he had stopped his truck at the traffic light when two men approached the driver's side with handguns and ordered him and his father to get out, the complaint states.

Officers began looking for the truck with assistance from Santa Fe County deputies, who spotted the truck and initiated a pursuit, Santa Fe police said in a news release. The truck fled on Agua Fría Street and then crashed into the Youth Shelters building at 5686 Agua Fría St. The driver and passenger ran away, police said.

The driver, identified as Barela, was arrested.

A second man was seen running from the crash but has not been identified, Capt. Bryan Martinez said Thursday.

A representative of Youth Shelters said no one was injured during the incident but declined to comment further.

The case remains under investigation.

Barela has faced multiple felony charges in recent years that were dismissed without prejudice, meaning they could be refiled. These include bribery and distribution charges connected to an alleged drug ring involving inmates and employees at the Santa Fe County jail as well as aggravated assault charges stemming from an alleged shoplifting incident at Big 5 Sporting Goods in 2022.

Nathan Lederman, a spokesman for the First Judicial District Attorney's Office, wrote in an email Thursday the office has not received additional information or evidence sufficient to justify refiling either case.

Prosecutors are planning to file a motion seeking to have Barela detained until his trial on the current charges, Lederman wrote.

"We are planning to present the court with the defendant's criminal history ... to show why he is dangerous and should not be released," he added.