Thursday, August 2, 2007


From the Albuquerque Journal, Thursday, August 2, 2007
T.J. Wilham

Picking the wrong bank cost Herman Chavez a lot more than a bad interest rate.

It cost him, his brother and girlfriend a trip to jail. On Tuesday, the three pulled up to Bank of America's drive-through at Juan Tabo and Brentwood NE and tried to withdraw $350 from Dr. Craig Steichen's bank account using a driver's license that police suspect was stolen from the dentist's car.

However, the teller working the drive-through window happened to be a longtime patient of the dentist and called him at his office. The teller kept stalling the trio. About 27 minutes later, police arrived and took all three into custody.

Chavez, 21, his brother, Matthew, 27, and girlfriend Jenna Saganitso, 21, were in custody Thursday evening at the West Side jail on various theft charges.

"This serves them right," Steichen told the Journal. "Things happen for a reason.
This just proves that Albuquerque is still a small town."

About two weeks ago, Steichen parked his car at a gas station in the 7000 block of Montgomery NE and ran inside to buy a cup of coffee.

When Steichen returned to his Ford Excursion, he discovered someone had broken in and taken his wallet, briefcase, laptop and handgun, police said.

A few days later, someone used the dentist's credit card to make online purchases, police said. And then on Tuesday, Sanchez and the trio pulled into the bank's drive-through.

"I guess they figured that they didn't have enough money, wanted to try again and it blew up all over them," said Albuquerque police Detective Sammy Marquez. "They picked the wrong bank, and it caught up with them."

The teller who alerted police was working her last day on the job. She started her retirement Wednesday.

"What a way to go out," Steichen said.

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