ARIZONA NEWS

Mesa police arrest 2 accused of stealing vehicle at gunpoint

Jan 19, 2024, 4:25 AM | Updated: 6:24 am

PHOENIX — The Mesa Police Department announced on Thursday it arrested two suspects accused of stealing a vehicle at gunpoint.

One of those suspects, 23-year-old Iridiane Garcia, posed as a potential buyer interested in purchasing the victim’s red 2021 Dodge Charger, Mesa PD said.

Garcia and the victim met up at a Wells Fargo near McKellips Road and Stapley Drive on Wednesday, police said. The victim brought her daughter with her.

While the two were discussing prices, Joseph Toledo, 29, allegedly pointed a gun at the victim and told her to give him the vehicle.

“The woman ran with her daughter, trying to escape what she thought was going to be the end of her life,” Mesa PD’s announcement said. “Her daughter fell in the parking lot, scraping her knee in the process.”

The mother and daughter fled to the Wells Fargo and watched Toledo and Garcia drive off in the stolen car.

How police caught people suspected of stealing vehicle at gunpoint

Garcia and Toledo allegedly contacted the victim over OfferUp, an online sales platform where users sell their items, before meeting up in person.

Prior to meeting up, one of them gave her Toledo’s phone number to contact, police said.

Mesa PD then tracked the phone down to Banner Deer Valley Hospital, where the suspects allegedly left the stolen vehicle.

Officers used police databases to identify addresses Toledo visited around Phoenix, Mesa PD said.

Eventually, they found him at the Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation and Reentry, where he was checking in with his parole officer, Mesa PD said.

When police found Garcia, she allegedly told them the keys to the stolen vehicle were in her purse — along with the gun Toledo pointed at the victim.

Police booked Toledo and Garcia into jail for multiple felony charges, including armed robbery and theft of means of transportation, Mesa PD said.

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Mesa police arrest 2 accused of stealing vehicle at gunpoint