September 27, 2022
Kent Keller, PIO
Greeley Police Department
(970) 351-5387, Desk
From April to June 2021, the Greeley Police Department, Windsor Police Department and Loveland Police Department began investigating an auto theft scheme targeting northern Colorado car dealerships. Members of the organization used stolen identities to test-drive vehicles before ultimately stealing them.
In addition to motor vehicle theft, the enterprise operated a large-scale forgery ring where forged checks, temporary license plates, insurance cards and identification documents were produced.
The investigation identified Amanda Johnson and Jose Pizarro as two suspects. A total of eight vehicles were stolen from various car dealerships in Weld and Larimer Counties.
In July 2022, the Greeley Police Department and the Weld County District attorney’s Office presented the case to the Weld County Statutory Grand Jury. Johnson and Pizarro were each indicted with more than fifty felony charges related to the case, including one count each of Violation of Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA). Johnson and Pizarro were arrested and a Weld County judge set a $250,000 bond for both defendants.
All charges are merely an accusation of crime(s) and the defendant(s) are presumed innocent until, or unless, proven guilty in a court of law.
During the investigation of “The Endless Test-Drive” case, the Greeley Police Department identified another large-scale auto theft scheme, in which members of that criminal organization targeted Kia and Hyundai vehicles to steal from the Denver Metro area into northern Colorado.
The Greeley Police Department determined the criminal enterprise was also involved with multiple other serious and repeated criminal activity. Amanda Johnson, Austin Carlholm, Hector Rivera, Ryan Yarwood and Jacob Martinez were identified as suspects. A total of forty-nine vehicles stolen from victims throughout Colorado.
In September 2022, the Greeley Police Department and the Weld County District Attorney’s Office presented the case to the Weld County Statutory Grand Jury. Johnson was indicted with more than seventy felony charges, Carlholm and Rivera were each indicted with more than sixty felony charges, Martinez was indicted with more than forty felony charges and Yarwood was indicted with more than twenty felony charges related to the case.
All five were also charged with one count each of Violation of Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA). All of these individuals are currently in custody and a Weld County judge has set a $250,000 bond for each defendant.
Several agencies, including the Colorado State Patrol North BATTLE (Beat Auto Theft Through Law Enforcement) Team, ATICC (Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center), CATPA (Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority), Loveland Police Department, Fort Collins Police Services, Denver Police Department, Aurora Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, Evans Police Department, Johnstown Police Department and Colorado Adult Parole assisted with these investigations. The Colorado State Patrol North BATTLE Team is a multi- agency auto theft task force compromised of agencies from all across the northern Colorado area. The BATTLE Team specializes in large-scale motor vehicle theft investigations. These two investigations collectively revealed over 57 stolen vehicles.
All charges are merely an accusation of crime(s) and the defendant(s) are presumed innocent until, or unless, proven guilty in a court of law. No further information will be released today.