By Ryan Lengerich
A tip about stolen merchandise at a local convenience store led to the arrest of two Tucumcari residents, police said Friday.
Jocelin Martinez, 19, and Dominic Martinez, 19, were arrested Dec. 12 when police searched the couple’s home at 609 S. Fifth St. after merchandise was reported stolen from Love’s Country Store where Jocelin worked. Officers located the merchandise as well as stolen firearms connected to a July 30 robbery, police said.
Both suspects have been charged with receiving stolen property, tampering with evidence and conspiracy. All are felonies. Jocelin has also been charged with embezzlement while Dominic faces aggravated burglary charges, court documents show.
Love’s management claimed a recent clothing audit was $2,000 short and a security ink remover was missing. A tip led police to search the Martinez house where they found several Orange County Chopper jackets valued at $99 each and an ink remover, reports show.
Police then found a shotgun and rifle matching weapons that Quay County police reported stolen over the summer.
“A lot of stuff depends on luck and as this turned out it was good luck,” Tucumcari Police Chief Dennis Townsend said.
“That is the general pattern that whenever we find something we find something that leads to other burglaries.”
Police then obtained a second warrant allowing a search for more items related to the alleged robbery. More firearms were found in a compartment beneath a closet as well as other stolen merchandise, police reports state.
Townsend said neither Martinez was named as a possible link to the burglary prior to their arrests. Quay County Sheriff Wayne Thibodeaux said he does not believe the couple is connected to Quinn Moore, who reported the guns and merchandise stolen from his home.
“He gave me a list of suspects and none of them were the ones arrested,” Thibodeaux said. “We were keeping an eye on people around town.”
Neither Martinez could be reached for comment Friday.
Jocelin was released from the Quay County Detention center on Friday on $26,000 bond. Dominic was released Wednesday on $2,000 bond. Each have court hearings set for Dec. 23.