A senior citizen, his dog and a pair of security guards teamed up March 7 to foil a car thief, who managed to drive the car only an estimated 40 to 50 feet before his crime came to a quick conclusion and the guards held him until police arrived.
It was around 10 a.m. when Troy Teague stopped by his dentist’s office at the corner of West Country Club Road and North Kentucky Avenue to drop off an item. He intended his errand into the office to take only a minute or two and he left his car door unlocked and the key in the ignition after he turned off the engine. Teague’s dog Skip, a mixed breed who is part border collie, waited in the passenger seat, the window down for some fresh air.
Meanwhile, across the street at Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, security guards Chris Colby and Juan Santillan had just finished escorting Jacob Gregory Sanchez off the hospital property because he had been causing a disturbance by harassing other people inside the hospital and refusing to leave. The guards walked Sanchez off the grounds, leaving him at the corner of West Country Club and North Kentucky, and headed back toward the hospital.
It wasn’t long before Teague, still inside the dental office, glanced at his 2005 Pontiac parked outside the front door and saw a man getting into it. Hospital guards Colby and Santillan heard a dog barking and looked back to see Sanchez trying to pull the barking dog from a car parked at the dental office. The dog was Skip, who Sanchez later said bit him on the hand during the incident. Sanchez then got into the driver’s seat, started the car, and backed it into the street (North Kentucky), stopping against the far curb as Teague, who turns 80 in April, ran out of the office and stood in front of his stolen car. “I was hoping he wasn’t going to run me over,” Teague says.
Colby and Santillan arrived at the car and one of the guards reached through the open passenger window and turned off the car while his fellow guard got the driver’s door open and pulled Sanchez out. Officers with the Roswell Police Department were called to the scene, where they found the guards holding onto Sanchez awaiting their arrival.
Teague expressed his thanks to Colby and Santillan, saying he is “extremely happy” they were nearby and came to his aid.
Sanchez, 20, of Artesia, was arrested and charged with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, a crime that didn’t last very long and didn’t get him very far.