Arrest records shed light on Greeley police investigation into man accused of chop-shop activity

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A man arrested after a late May standoff with the Greeley SWAT team abandoned a vehicle after a near run-in with police in late April, pushing forward an investigation into multiple theft cases, according to court records.

About 2:30 p.m. April 20, a Greeley couple reported their black Dodge truck was stolen from the parking lot of their apartment complex in the 8200 block of 20th Street. The truck was valued at $50,000.

At 7:22 a.m. April 25, a deputy at the Weld County Sheriff’s Office reported someone entered his work vehicle and stole several items while it was parked in the 2000 block of 22nd Street. The deputy believed he left the vehicle unlocked by mistake.

It appeared someone had entered the rear of the vehicle and took the deputy’s ballistic vest, worth $500, his patrol bag, his nylon duty belt, two loaded 9 mm magazines, a pair of handcuffs, pepper spray and a fingerprint scanner valued at $500. Altogether, the value of the stolen goods added up to $1,380.

The next day, a man reported someone stole a golf bag with 12 clubs, a blue duffel bag, car registration and insurance cards from his 2011 black BMW in the 1900 block of 15th Avenue.

On April 27, a man reported someone stole several items from two vehicles parked outside his home in the 2100 block of 60th Avenue. The stolen items included a $500 multimeter, a $365 vehicle performance chip and a $90 air compressor.

At 11:58 p.m. April 28, Greeley police were responding to a report of a suspicious person in the 900 block of 14th Street when they saw a black Dodge truck traveling east on 14th Street with no front license plate. The rear license plate was registered to a gray Dodge truck.

Police attempted to stop the vehicle, finding it parked next to the curb in the 1400 block of 9th Avenue. It was still running, and the headlights were on, but no one was inside. Police determined the occupant took off on foot. A silver handgun with a loaded magazine and a Samsung cellphone were in the truck.

After checking the vehicle identification number, police discovered it was the same truck that had been reported stolen more than a week ago. Alterations were made to the truck, including black spray paint on the front grill, the bumper and the tire rims, as well as the removal of the chrome running boards and the dual exhaust.

Inside the truck, police found a temporary license plate registered to Hipolito Muniz III, 33, at a home in the 1200 block of 19th Street in Greeley. The plate was altered from a black Chevrolet truck to a black Dodge truck. Many of the deputy’s items that had been stolen were recovered, as well as property from other theft cases.

Hipolito Muniz III. (Weld County Sheriff’s Office/For Greeley Tribune)

Police also found a receipt from 4:23 p.m. April 24 at a store in the 2600 block of 11th Avenue.

Police acquired the store’s surveillance footage, which showed the stolen truck pull into the parking lot and a man getting out of the passenger side to go purchase the items on the receipt while a driver remained in the truck. Police identified the man who purchased the items as Hipolito Muniz II, who was listed at an address in the 900 block of 14th Street.

Police discovered on May 11 a security camera was in the alley next to Muniz II’s apartment. Video from the camera from 12:47 p.m. April 19 showed the stolen truck arriving at Muniz II’s apartment, according to arrest records. Police identified the driver as Muniz III and the passenger as Muniz II. Muniz III could be seen spray painting the front bumper of the truck black, records state.

On May 6, detectives found a 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan that hadn’t been reported stolen parked in front of Muniz III’s home. The following day, they executed a search warrant on the home, finding stolen property belonging to several different residents, according to court records. Neither Muniz III nor Muniz II were home.

On May 25, an Evans man reported that someone stole a vehicle registration card, an auto insurance card, a garage door opener and more from his Volkswagen Tiguan. The man said two fishing poles, two tackle boxes and a backpack were also taken from the garage. It was later discovered the license plates had been stolen off the Volkswagen.

On May 26, Greeley police attempted to stop a Mitsubishi Eclipse with a registration that listed back to the Evans man, but the driver, later identified by police as Muniz III, took off and barricaded himself inside his home in the 1200 block of 19th Street, according to arrest records.

The Greeley SWAT team responded and used a flash-bang grenade as well as chemical munitions and less-than-lethal impact rounds before Muniz III surrendered.

Muniz III faces nearly a dozen charges, including two counts of aggravated motor vehicle theft with a value of $20,000-$100,000, two counts of aggravated motor vehicle theft with a value of more than $20,000, two counts of theft with a value of $5,000-$20,000, criminal possession of a financial device with four or more names, criminal possession of identification documents with multiple victims, eluding a police officer, auto trespassing and theft with a value of less than $50. He also had two no-bond arrest warrants out of Larimer County for failure to comply with terms of pre-trial services issued on April 29.

Muniz III is scheduled to appear in court 2:30 p.m. July 16 in Division 16 of Weld District Court.

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