Suspect’s wallet found at crime scene

By Thomas Garcia

QCS Senior Writer


Tucumcari Police  received a strange assist, apparently from the suspect himself, during the recent investigation into a burglary at the city’s maintenance yard.

Henry Salaz, 41, the suspect, was arrested and charged with two felony charges of burglary, burglary of a vehicle and misdemeanor charges of larceny and vandalism.

Salaz, who remains in the Quay County Detention Center on a $20,000 cash bond, is credited with his own apprehension in connection with the burglary, since officers discovered his wallet containing his driver license at the scene.

According to Jason Braziel, chief of police, at 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 9, city maintenance workers reported a burglary at the city’s maintenance yard on the 1000 block of East Laughlin.

Braziel said that in the investigation by Cpl. Clay Huffman and Sgt. Russell Shafer, the officers  observed signs of a burglary to the main building on the yard and one of the city’s vehicles.

Braziel said the workers told officers the items taken were a weed eater, chainsaw and car stereo. He said Huffman and Shafer took the information and upon searching the building, located a wallet that did not belong to any of the workers.

Braziel said the officers made note of the wallet’s location and determined that Salaz was the owner after reviewing the wallet’s contents. Braziel said Huffman and Shafer gathered additional evidence.

At 2:32 p.m., Braziel said, officers located Salaz and took him to the police department for questioning. Braziel said that during questioning, Salaz denied involvement in the burglary and asked for an attorney when he learned officers had located his wallet and officers presented additional evidence placing him at the scene.

Salaz was arraigned on Oct. 11 before Magistrate Court Judge David Garnett, and a preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday.

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