A Los Lunas man was arrested last week on charges that he jumped on a counter and grabbed a handful of money from a bank teller.
Los Lunas Police Detective Lt. Charles Nuanes said Matthew Gallegos, 22, has been charged with one felony count of bank larceny, resisting or evading a police officer and tampering with evidence. Gallegos was also arrested for a couple of outstanding warrants.
“The suspect went into the Wells Fargo bank on Thursday afternoon and walked up to teller,” Nuanes said. “The teller was counting her money within her booth and he had apparently seen what she was doing.”
Nuanes said the teller had been counting the money at her work station, located to the side of the front counter, when Gallegos approached her. The Los Lunas man reportedly asked the teller for the time, and, when she was distracted by looking at her watch, he jumped up onto the counter.
“He grabbed the money from the counter and ran out of the bank,” Nuanes said. “A bank employee immediately called 911.”
When Los Lunas Police Officers Steven Aragon and Mark Garcia responded to the call, the teller gave them a description of the suspect and told them he was last seen traveling south on foot on a ditchbank.
The two officers walked down the ditchbank, where they encountered the suspect.
“Gallegos took off running, and Officer Garcia followed him to a backyard, where he was detained and then arrested,” Nuanes said.
Nuanes said he couldn’t elaborate on the details of what happened to the money, due to the ongoing investigation. Garcia and Aragon eventually did recover the money taken from the bank.
Clara Garcia is the editor and publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
She is a native of the city of Belen, beginning her journalism career at the News-Bulletin in 1998 as the crime and courts reporter. During her time at the paper, Clara has won numerous awards for her writing, photography and typography and design both from the National Newspaper Association and the New Mexico Press Association.