PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- Police say a man connected to a string of motor vehicle thefts out of Cañon City had nearly a dozen felony warrants from four different counties at the time of his arrest.
Sunday, the Pueblo Police Department and Cañon City Police Department teamed up to arrest 29-year-old Daniel Juarez, 32-year-old Christina Juarez, and 29-year-old Oleta Wite. Between Juarez and Wite, they had a total of 17 warrants with bonds amounting to $438,000.
13 Investigates learned Juarez had multiple felony convictions for aggravated motor vehicle theft and vehicular eluding between 2011 and 2015.
Juarez pleaded guilty to two aggravated motor vehicle felonies and one vehicular eluding felony. He was sentenced to 13 years in the Department of Corrections between the three guilty pleas. However, he only spent four years in prison.
In 2021, Juarez was arrested again on aggravated motor vehicle theft charges out of Fremont County. His charges included an enhancer for someone with at least two prior motor vehicle theft charges. Fremont County Judge Kaitlin Turner gave Juarez a $1,000 bond and he was released from jail.
After he bonded out, Juarez had multiple failures to appear in court.
Leading up to 2022, 13 Investigates learned that Juarez is accused of committing nine other felony crimes including attempted murder, burglary, and assault on a police officer.
Friday, 13 Investigates spoke with Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser about the large amount of motor vehicle thefts in Colorado.
"What is happening that is scary is the level of repeat offenders we are seeing," Weiser said.
Weiser said he has partnered with local District Attorney's across Colorado to prosecute people with multiple motor vehicle thefts on their record.
One of his biggest efforts has been towards what he calls "truth in sentencing." He wants Colorado to improve how often criminals serve their entire sentence.
"For victims this can be particularly threatening, unnerving," Weiser said. "They may assume 13 years means 13 years but it some cases it can mean less so Colorado has room for improvement on this. When someone gets sentenced, a prosecutor can tell a victim here's what it means and it means what they say."
On July 26, Pueblo PD and Cañon City police found Juarez in a stolen truck out of Cañon City along Lake Ave. in Pueblo. Arrest documents obtained by 13 Investigates say Juarez and his girlfriend, Oleta Witte, tried to escape by ramming into police vehicles. However, officers used their vehicles to stop Witte and Juarez from escaping.
"A criminal like Daniel Juarez, if they are in jail, they cannot commit crimes at least outside of the jail facility and our community is safer because of that," Pueblo Police Chief Chris Noeller said. "Each time we have to go back and rearrest that person, it heightens that danger."
One arresting officer said he had to jump out of the way to keep from being hit and possibly killed. The officers said during the arrest, that Juarez caused extensive damage to Johnny's Motel in Pueblo.
Juarez was pulled from the truck and after resisting arrest was taken into custody. He is currently being held in the Pueblo County Jail and has not posted his $372,000 in bond.