Suspects booked after alleged vehicle theft crime spree from California to Utah

Aug 22, 2022, 7:05 PM | Updated: 7:06 pm
[FILE] Jail Handcuffs (KSL-TV)...
[FILE] Jail Handcuffs (KSL-TV)

AMERICAN FORK, Utah — Three suspects are in police custody after breaking into a car in American Fork and claiming they work for a crime organization in Chile.

According to court documents, Ricardo Antonio Riffo, 52, Rayza Lee Gonzalez Cerda, 30, and Luis Felipe Cerda de la Puente, 31, from Chile, were pulled over by police after a vehicle burglary call in American Fork at approximately 12:20 p.m. Sunday.

The complaintant called American Fork police reporting that their car window was broken by a man who left in a dark-colored Toyota Carolla with a woman.

While responding to the scene, officers found the Carolla and initiated a traffic stop, but the Carolla didn’t pull over for several blocks, according to the documents.

After the driver pulled over, Riffo exited the vehicle, while covered in blood, and was placed into police custody. The other two suspects were reaching around the car and were also placed into custody.

Officers said they smelled marijuana inside the car and began to search the vehicle.

According to the documents, officers found “Plane tickets, financial transaction cards, and documents containing many different names inside the vehicle. The names did not match any of the occupants.”

The officers also found identification cards for each suspect and a transaction card from Puerto Rico with Puente’s face but a different name.

Officers also found a notebook listing all the items the group stole from vehicles and a backpack with burglary tools. According to arresting documents, the three suspects were taken to the police department for interviews.

Cerda told police that she met with Puente in California to help break into cars and steal valuable items. She stated that Puente used the fake Puerto Rico card to rent their car from California for a week.

“[Cerda] stated they began breaking into vehicles traveling through Nevada into Utah,” the documents state. “They stopped in St. George, Utah, and broke into several vehicles before traveling to Provo to stay in a hotel.”

Puente told police they are all from Chille, and they are with an organization that commits crimes in different countries. He confirmed what Cerda told police and added they stole items from vehicles in California.

Riffo told police that he told the other two suspects not to talk to police if they were ever arrested, according to documents.

He confirmed what Puente and Cerda told police, adding that the criminal organization put him in charge of keeping track of stolen items, and he used the notebook to do so.

During the American Fork burglary, Riffo stated he was in the victim’s vehicle when the doors locked him inside the car, causing him to panic and breaking the front passenger window from the inside to escape. The documents state that Riffo cut himself while escaping causing the bleeding.

Officers contacted the possible owners of the stolen items, including a Cedar City woman who confirmed that her car was broken into Saturday and had her wallet stolen.

Riffo, Cerda, and Puente were booked into the Utah County Jail for:

  • burglary of a vehicle,
  • possessing burglary tools.
  • a pattern of unlawful activity,
  • and illegal acquisition of a financial card.

Puente has an additional charge of forgery.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


A masked suspect is seen lighting a Molotov cocktail in front of Temple Ner Tamid in a still image ...
Celina Tebor, Isa Kaufman-Geballe and Zoe Sottile

Man throws Molotov cocktail at New Jersey synagogue in arson attempt, police say

A man threw a Molotov cocktail at a New Jersey synagogue in an arson attempt on Sunday morning, police and the synagogue said.
1 day ago
Authorities in Grants Pass, Oregon, are warning that suspect Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, may be tr...
Andy Rose and Nouran Salahieh

Oregon man suspected of kidnapping, beating a woman may be using dating apps to evade police

Oregon police are warning that a man suspected of kidnapping a woman and beating her unconscious may now be using dating apps to evade capture or find potential new victims.
1 day ago
Saginaw Police K9 Cigan sits behind a table with evidence found inside a stolen car. (WNEM)...
Anna Kathman

Stolen vehicle, multiple drugs located by Michigan K9 officer

Saginaw Police said two suspects are behind bars after a stolen vehicle was located during a traffic stop by a K9 officer.
1 day ago
Michael Houck

Utah juvenile services staff member arrested for sexually abusing housed juvenile

A man who worked in a Utah juvenile services facility was arrested for frequently sexually abusing one of the facility's juveniles.
1 day ago
The Wasatch County Sheriff's Office and Jail in Heber City is pictured on Friday, March 12, 2021. (...
Brooke Williams

Heber man surrendered with firearm after hours-long SWAT barricade

A man in Heber City was barricaded by SWAT and police officers after he made threats while intoxicated, intending bodily harm with a firearm.
1 day ago
A 29-year old woman has been arrested after allegedly posing as a teenager and attending classes at...
Kiely Westhoff and Zoe Sottile, CNN

29-year-old woman posed as high school teen facing charges in New Jersey, police say

A 29-year-old New Jersey woman is facing charges over claims she used false government documents in a ploy to pose as a teenager at a high school, according to police.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Suspects booked after alleged vehicle theft crime spree from California to Utah