Police arrest suspect who stole Jeep from church grounds

Lilliana Salgado

A Jeep was taken from a San Juan church parking lot about three weeks ago.

Now the alleged car thief is in police custody after being arrested by McAllen police.

She apparently committed the same crime in thier city.

Surveillance video shows 25-year-old Lilliana Salgado driving the Jeep into Mexico at a border crossing. Police said she stole the unlocked vehicle on December 15th, while the owner was attending services at a church. She was arrested earlier this week by McAllen police for an auto theft charge. She was then transferred to the San Juan Police Department to face charges in their city. Investigators believe Salgado may be part of an auto theft ring, where several cars in the Hidalgo County area are being stolen and crossed into mexico.

"Our investigation is showing that it wasn't a chance encounter that she took the vehicle this one time. She's been taking vehicles from other cities. It's something that she is not a novice at," authorities said.

Salgado is refusing to cooperate with police on this investigation. More arrests are pending in the case, and Salgado is expected to go before a judge tomorrow afternoon. If you have information regarding auto thefts in the San Juan area, contact the San Juan Police Department at 956-283-8477.