Phoenix man, Samuel Chayrez, accused of stealing truck, van, bus in 3 cities within 4 hours

Posted at 2:33 PM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-13 17:35:34-04

A Phoenix man is accused of leading police through three cities in a string of vehicle robberies.

Court records show that 53-year-old Samuel Lopez Chayrez stole a truck, then a work van and later a bus, as he fled police in the afternoon of May 16. 

Mesa police said they were called to the area of Price and Broadway roads, where a stolen vehicle out of Phoenix was located. Officers arrived around noon and talked with the owner of AZ Auto RV, who told them his 2014 Dodge truck and accompanying trailer was stolen. There were four motorcycles in the trailer.

Police used the truck's GPS and tracked it to Stapley Drive and Baseline Road, where police found the truck and trailer. Just down the street, they received another stolen vehicle call-- this time, a work van for Edible Arrangements. Police said Chayrez took the van as it was idling outside the store.

Around 2:30 p.m., the van was spotted near McClintock Drive and Southern Avenue where Chayrez left the van and stole an Orbitz bus, police said. He apparently didn't care for the bus because he quickly abandoned it and ran, police said. He was quickly caught by Tempe police officers.

Chayrez, now charged with four counts of vehicle theft, was very cooperative with police, telling them that he left the keys to the van under floor mat and that he was just "trying to get away." He also allegedly told police that he had been using methamphetamine for several days.

No injuries were reported in any of the crimes.