A Rio Rancho man has been charged with stealing a Bernalillo County deputy’s guns, body armor and other equipment.
Jordan Werling, 21, is charged with aggravated burglary (armed after entering), a second-degree felony.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Sandoval County Magistrate Court on Oct. 4, a Rio Rancho Police officer was called to the 2000 block of Forest Trail Road on Sept. 26 after the deputy discovered his unmarked vehicle had been burglarized. Surveillance video had captured the recording of a young man breaking into the car.
The deputy’s duty rifle, breaching shotgun used for knocking open doors, body armor, flash bang equipment, personal handgun, tactical bag with trauma kits and other law enforcement gear were missing, according to the complaint.
RRPD and Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office began investigating.
On Sept. 27, a Rio Rancho officer stopped a car and arrested the driver on a charge of possession of a controlled substance. According to the criminal complaint, when police searched the vehicle, they found a Taser and a cannister of pepper spray.
Upon investigation, detectives found the Taser’s serial number matched the one issued to the deputy whose vehicle had been burglarized.
Bernalillo County detectives interviewed the driver in Sandoval County Detention Center. The man told them he’d bought the Taser, pepper spray and a shotgun from an individual whose name he didn’t know in the 1700 block of Borealis Avenue. When he’d made the purchase, he said, he also saw a tactical vest and large bag with unknown contents in the living room, and the seller told him a handgun was available.
Bernalillo County investigators conducted surveillance in the area of Geraldine Road and Geraldine Place, several blocks north of Borealis, and identified a suspect. While viewing surveillance footage from Sept. 26 at the house where that suspect lived until being kicked out, they saw Werling, a friend of the suspect, wearing clothes and a backpack that matched those the burglar had been filmed wearing.
The initial suspect’s mother was shown a photo from the initial burglary and identified Werling, who was charged.
Since then, Werling has been charged with receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle, felony possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia on Oct. 18 and receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle and resisting an officer on Nov. 3, according to online court records.
All three cases are making their way through the court system, according to the records. Werling hadn’t entered a plea in any of them.