Vigilant NMSP Officer Stops Armed Robbery in Progress and Recovers Stolen Goods

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Written by Officer Ray Wilson 01/24/2022

Los Lunas, NM – On January 14, 2022, at around 5:35 p.m. a New Mexico State Police officer was on patrol in Los Lunas when he saw an O’Reilly’s Auto Parts employee running after two individuals from the store located at 1401 Main Street SW. The suspects were wearing all black clothing with black face masks running towards an open field behind the store.

The NMSP officer jumped out of his marked State Police patrol unit and gave chase. After a brief foot pursuit through the field, the officer caught one of the suspects. The suspect, later identified as Armando Piro, 27, of Los Lunas was arrested without further incident.

Through investigation, the officer learned that Piro and the second suspect had stolen motor oil and transmission fluid. In the store, the manager approached Piro, who lifted his shirt to reveal a handgun in his waistband. Piro and the second suspect then took off running from the store with the oil. The manager followed them but stopped when he believed Piro was reaching for the handgun in his waistband.

The stolen oil was recovered, and Piro was booked into the Valencia County Detention Center. He was charged with Armed Robbery and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Piro was also on probation for Residential Burglary, Possession of Controlled Substance, and Fraudulently Obtaining a Motor Vehicle. The identity of the second suspect is under investigation by the New Mexico State Police.