ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Police say an Albuquerque couple mugged a 101-year-old woman in broad daylight at a garage sale. They also attacked the Good Samaritans who tried to help her, then went on to cause more chaos around the city.
Police say it all started Friday at a yard sale. A female ran up to the elderly woman and took her wallet. The suspect and her boyfriend fled the area, caused a crash, then shut down a large area of downtown.
It was supposed to be a typical, quiet Friday morning visiting garage sales.
“The fight or flight thing kicked in high gear,” said the victim’s son.
A 101-year-old woman stopped at a garage sale with her son and daughter-in-law at a home near Louisiana and Comanche. Minutes later, they say a woman ran up and targeted their elderly mom.
“She said, ‘They’ve got mom’s purse!’ and she pointed down the street and said, ‘Go, go, go!'” explained the victim’s son.
Police say Nicole Joe and Jose Estrada had been driving around in a stolen red Ford, looking for money to buy drugs.
“It looked to me like he was planning on dropping her off, she was gonna go get the purse or whatever,” he explained. “And then she would run down, and he would meet her down there.”
However, neighbors didn’t let that happen—as Nicole Joe ran off with the purse, they followed.
“I grabbed her and she was a small lady and very light,” he explained. “I said, ‘Where is the purse?’ and she said, ‘I don’t have it,’ and I said, ‘Where is it?’ and she pointed towards the car.”
They found the purse nearby, but in the meantime, Estrada came towards them with a metal tire iron.
“He was waving the thing at me,” he said. “And he was never close enough that he could have struck me. He did, however, strike the other fellow who was there.
The duo then fled, almost hitting neighbors on their way out.
“He pointed the car directly toward us,” he said.
The couple’s vehicle eventually rolled over at the intersection of San Pedro and Comanche, where officers arrested the duo and took them to Lovelace Hospital. However, Estrada managed to escape, prompting an intense manhunt in the downtown area. APD shut down a large area, but never found him.
Police are still looking for Estrada. Meanwhile, Nicole Joe is behind bars, facing a slew of charges.
The man who was hit with the tire iron is okay. The 101-year-old woman also did not suffer any serious injuries.