Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA — If you loaned your car out to someone you trusted, you probably did so with the assumption that your friend would not use the vehicle to commit an alleged felony.
But authorities say an Alamosa-area man did just that, driving his friend’s red Dodge Charger away from the scene of a trespassing incident on Dec. 7.
Alamosa County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Thompson reported that he and Corporal Lisa Benavidez tracked the vehicle down to its lawful owner’s residence, where they also found a circular saw that was allegedly stolen during the incident.
According to Thompson’s report on the incident, owner Brant Breitenbach told them that a friend asked if he could borrow the car to make a run for cigarettes.
Breitenbach initially said that he didn’t know anything about the alleged theft.
He also denied that his friend, Ryan Antonio Lopez, was inside the house, and suggested that the man might be staying at another address.
But when Benavidez warned Breitenbach that his car could be impounded and held, he changed his story, according to Thompson. At that point, he reportedly acknowledged that Lopez was inside, and then gave them permission to enter the premises.
When Thompson approached a room where he was told he could find Lopez, the door closed slowly.
The deputy turned the doorknob, but it was locked. There was no response when Thompson knocked on the door, so he knocked again.
This time, the deputy asked the occupant if he was going to come out. Moments later, Lopez backed out of the room with his hands up. Thompson placed the man on the floor at Taser point, and with Benavidez’s help, the suspect was handcuffed.
Once Lopez was in custody, Thompson informed Breitenbach that he could face several charges for hindering an official investigation.
Breitenbach reportedly insisted that he knew nothing about the alleged theft, or the allegation that his friend used his car to commit the theft, until his mother contacted him.
When he heard the news, Breitenbach told Lopez to bring his car back to the house with whatever he allegedly stole, according to Thompson’s report.
But he wasn’t in the clear at that point.
While Thompson interviewed him, Benavidez conducted a background check, which revealed that Breitenbach was wanted on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court.
The revelation led to Breitenbach’s arrest.