Lapel video shows chaotic aftermath of July triple carjacking

Carjacking on Juan Tabo and Singing Arrow NE
Carjacking on Juan Tabo and Singing Arrow NE (Dominic Crespin/KRQE)

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Lapel video released by Albuquerque Police shows the chaotic aftermath of when a man carjacked three different families in July.

On July 22, police say 26-year-old Thomas Martinez led officers on a wild chase across the city. He started by carjacking someone near Menaul and University, then driving to the Ramada Inn near Hotel Circle and Eubank.

When officers tried to arrest him there, he ran to I-40 and Eubank, where he carjacked a family.

“Right away he jumped in front of our car,” a child who was in the second car tells an APD officer. “And next thing I know he pulls a gun out, and he pointed it and he said ‘Get out!’”

The child was one of three in that car, which was being driven by his grandma. The grandmother tried to stop Martinez from taking the vehicle.

“Then he just took off with her hanging on the door, and then we heard a gunshot and we thought it was her and he took off,” the child says.

Police say when he was taking off, he rammed a detective who was trying to help the grandma get away.

The grandma was soon after dropped off down the interstate at Tramway.

“I jumped out of my car right here,” she tells officers.

Police say Martinez ditched the grandma and went into a nearby neighborhood, where he carjacked for a third time.

This time he went after an elderly man who was inside his Cadillac.

The man’s son saw it happening and tried to stop Martinez by grabbing Martinez’s gun.

Martinez then put the car in gear and tried to take off with the elderly man and the son still inside. But the car crashed into a mailbox just feet away.

A witness ran up after hearing the commotion and helped the son hold down Martinez until police came.

In the lapel video, it shows a gun on the ground as officers approach the scene.

After Martinez is handcuffed, he cries at police, saying his handcuffs are too tight. “It’s stuck on my wrist it’s killing me,” he says. An officer then adjusted the cuffs.

Days before the carjackings, Martinez was arrested for violating conditions of his release from a June burglary.

He didn’t get out so easy this time. As of Monday, he’s still behind bars. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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