Haverhill Police Thwart Attempted Autofair Ford Robbery

(File photograph.)

A Haverhill man who attempted to steal tires from a city car dealership was caught in the act this week by Haverhill Police, and later allegedly admitted that had the incident happened in Lawrence, he and his nephew would have “gotten away” with the con.

Thirty-one-year-old Michael Realejo was arrested Aug. 18 after police say he and 20-year-old Christian Tejada attempted to steal tires off a truck from Broadway’s Autofair Ford before being caught by Haverhill Officers Kevin O’Brien and Justin Graham. Local authorities had been notified of the alleged theft in progress by Autofair security staff.

The men were seen fleeing the scene in a silver minivan and followed onto Computer Drive by Haverhill Police before the van hit a slick patch of road and crashed, according to a police report obtained by WHAV. The driver—later identified as Michael Realejo—fled and was later located in a wooded area by Massachusetts State Police Trooper Chris Thurlow and his K-9 partner Devaney.

Realejo—who initially gave a false name and date of birth—allegedly dropped keys to an Acura MDX with the dealership tag attached in the back of the cruiser after he was handcuffed, police said. The keys were found underneath the front passenger seat.

Arrested after police surrounded the van, Tejada was found in possession of a set of keys to a Subaru Impreza with the dealership tag attached. A search of the van yielded tools including a wrench and tire iron.

Once at the Bailey Boulevard police station, police learned that Realejo believed the pair had been “set up.”

According to Officer Jordan Bergevine, Realejo started crying during a phone call to his sister and apologized for getting Tejada involved in the incident. “Those n—gas set us up,” he allegedly said. Later, Realejo was indignant when Bergevine tried to tell him he shouldn’t get his nephew involved in alleged criminal activity.

“F—k those greedy mother—kers, they’re insured. We should have just done this in Lawrence. We would have got away with it. They wouldn’t chase us…do you know how many times I have gotten away from them?” Realejo allegedly told Bergevine.

At arraignment this week, both men answered to one count each of trespassing, receiving a stolen motor vehicle, possession of a burglarious instrument, attempt to commit a crime and disorderly conduct. Tejada posted $1,000 bail, while Haverhill District Court First Justice Stephen Abany ordered Realejo held without bail stemming from a previous assault and battery case. They next appear in court in mid-September.

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