ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A wild scene at a popular Albuquerque grocery Thursday after a career criminal came running in, sending workers and customers running out.
Albuquerque Police evacuated Pro’s Ranch Market at Central and Atrisco after 2 p.m. when 41-year-old Gabriel Matthews ran in to hide.
Customers were turned away.
“I was just driving by,” Shirley Valdez said. “I just got out of work. I was going to come and get some groceries, and I saw everybody outside I was wondering what was going on.”
Employees had to wait outside for hours.
“I got really scared. I just wanted to get out of work and leave,” said Erica Galindo.
Police said Matthews had a warrant out for his arrest.
Online records show that’s because he didn’t make a court date in a case against him for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
When police tried to stop Matthews on Central near the grocery store, he took off in what police soon learned was a stolen truck.
“He’s got an extensive history, mostly with property crimes—burglaries, receiving and transferring stolen motor vehicles,” said Tanner Tixier with APD.
Matthews has been arrested at least seven times over the last eight years, including just two weeks ago for again getting caught with a stolen car.
Records show he posted bond and was released the next day.
While police outside Thursday worked to take care of the stolen truck, police inside combed the store with a police dog, looking for Matthews.
They walked him out in cuffs just before 5:00 p.m.
Police said he had been hiding in a walk-in freezer in the store for about two hours.
Police said Matthews didn’t have a weapon.
A search of the stolen truck turned up a tactical vest, APD said, belongs to a local police department. Police wouldn’t say which department.
Police said Matthews now faces charges for receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle and trying to escape officers.