NM man steals fire truck after hitching ride with firefighters

Santa Fe firefighters had given the man a ride to a gas station where he managed to drive away in their apparatus

Victoria Traxler
The Santa Fe New Mexican

SANTA FE, N.M. — A Santa Fe man is accused of stealing a Santa Fe Fire Department vehicle after asking firefighters for a ride to the gas station.

Julio Avila, 28, was charged with robbery, two counts of aggravated battery, driving while intoxicated, possession of a controlled substance and reckless driving after he took a Chevrolet Colorado truck belonging to the department Friday, according to a statement of probable cause filed in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court.

After catching a ride with Santa Fe firefighters, police say Julio Avila took their truck.
After catching a ride with Santa Fe firefighters, police say Julio Avila took their truck. (Photo/Santa Fe Fire Department)

Avila had reportedly pulled over while driving his friend's black Dodge on Interstate 25 near El Camino Real to ask firefighters assisting another vehicle for a ride to the gas station.

Two firefighters, Ramon Vilorio and Daniel Coyne, drove him to an Allsup's on Avenida Del Sur, with Vilorio in another vehicle. While at the gas station, Coyne exited the vehicle and Vilorio parked parallel to him, according to the statement of probable cause.

Avila suddenly dove into the fire department vehicle and began to drive away in reverse, the report stated. Vilorio and Coyne attempted to grab the doors to stop him, but Avila escaped and drove to the highway. Neither of the firefighters were seriously injured in the incident.

Avila was stopped by Santa Fe County deputies on I-25 near Exit 282 and was told to exit the vehicle with his hands up. He complied and was quickly arrested, according to the report.

Avila was found with a small amount of methamphetamine on his person, along with another small bag of the drug in his backpack back in the Dodge car. He also told deputies he had consumed meth three hours prior to stealing the car, according to the report.

He was booked into the Santa Fe County jail.


(c)2021 The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, N.M.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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