Vehicle Owner Caught Suspected Thief in Stolen Car

ALAMOGORDO, NM (KTSM) - An Otero County man suspected of breaking into and stealing a vehicle early Saturday morning was caught by the owner after a brief foot pursuit.

Tyler W. Quirk, 20, of 23 KHJ Road near Alamogordo, is charged with one count each of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and burglary of a vehicle.

Shortly before 4 a.m. on Saturday, March 11, Las Cruces Police were dispatched to the report of a recovered stolen vehicle and the apprehension of a suspect on the 4400 block of Purple Sage Drive.

Investigators learned the 25-year-old owner of a white Honda Civic awoke to noises outside the residence and discovered his vehicle missing. The owner went outside and noticed his Honda Civic on Purple Sage, just east of his residence.

The 25-year-old man approached the Civic and found Quirk behind the wheel, rummaging through the vehicle. The owner knocked on the window to which Quirk indicated that he had the key to the Civic. The owner acknowledged that the car was his and he had the only key.

Quirk jumped out of the vehicle and tried to run away but was chased down by the owner. Police were dispatched to the area and took Quirk into custody.

Investigators learned that Quirk damaged the ignition switch and briefly started the vehicle before it quit running as he attempted to drive away. Quirk was also in possession of property stolen from inside the vehicle.

Quirk was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he’s being held on bond set at $1,000.

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