**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE #22G093515**

December 28, 2022

Kent Keller
Public Information Officer
Greeley Police Department
(970) 351-5387, Desk
Kent.Keller@greeleypd.com

Unmanned Aerial Drone Helps to Catch Auto Theft Suspect

GREELEY, Colo. – On Tuesday, December 27, 2022, at 1:13 p.m., Greeley Police Officers were dispatched to a stolen vehicle in the parking lot of Old Navy, located in 4700 block of 29th Street, occupied by two men. As officers arrived on scene, the vehicle fled. The original caller, who was also the owner of the stolen vehicle, briefly chased their vehicle before agreeing to stop and meet with officers.

Approximately thirty minutes, later the Weld County Regional Communications Center began receiving calls about two vehicles driving recklessly. Additional calls were also received reporting that there was a disturbance with weapons near Highway 34 and Promontory Parkway. Officers from the Greeley Police Department, Weld County Sheriff’s Office, and Colorado State Patrol responded to assist.

A CSP Trooper parked nearby heard multiple gunshots and advised persons from the vehicles had fled on foot. A perimeter was established while the Greeley Police Department K9 and Drone Units also responded to assist.

The occupants in the stolen vehicle were later identified as Gerardo Castro, 26, and a 39-year-old man. The 39-year-old passenger was taken into custody without incident, but Gerardo Castro fled to an open field and concealed himself in thick vegetation near Highway 34. Out of an abundance of caution Highway 34 was closed for approximately 30 minutes while officers searched for Gerardo Castro.

A reverse 911 message was also sent to the surrounding neighborhood and nearby businesses advising them to shelter in place during the ordeal. Gerardo Castro’s location was pinpointed by an unmanned aerial drone and, despite repeated commands, he refused to surrender.

A Greeley Police Department K9 was deployed to assist with taking Castro into custody. Castro received treatment to apparent injuries and cold exposure at a local hospital. Upon discharge was transported to the Weld County Jail, where he was booked on an existing warrant, and also charged with Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft, Resisting Arrest, and Obstruction. The passenger in the vehicle was released without charges.

No additional information will be released today. The charges are merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until, or unless, proven guilty. If you have any information on this case and have not been interviewed by officers, please contact Detective John Kinne at 970-350-9603.

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