By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
Three Tucumcari residents are facing burglary charges after they were caught n the act, according to police.
Two of the suspects are facing three felony counts of non-residential burglary, larceny and conspiracy after they were arrested early Thursday inside a building they had entered illegally, police said.
Louis Padilla, 44, and Johnny Salazar, 53, were arrested inside a building in the 1000 block of East High Avenue after Cpl. Dennis Garcia observed a man entering the building through a basement window at 4:14 a.m. Thursday, Chief Jason Braziel said. Garcia requested backup, and when other officers arrived, police entered the building and found Padilla and Salazar, Chief Jason Braziel said.
The building had been under surveillance since Oct. 24, when an officer investigated a burglary found evidence of items being removed from the building, Chief Detective Patti Lopez said. In that investigation, she said, officers also found several items that had been piled close to where entry was made into the building, which meant someone was possibly planning a return.
Baszd on interviews with Salazar and Padilla, police obtained seven search warrants and recovered property at three of the locations, according to Lopez.
Lopez said police would consult with the district attorney’s office to determine if any additional charges will be filed on Salazar, Padilla or against residents of the locations at which property was recovered.
Padilla and Salazar remain in the Quay County Detention Center on $20,500 bond.
On Friday, officer Eric Padilla arrested Joseph Cortez, 32,, who is charged with felony breaking and entering the Auto Smith repair shop on the 900 block of West Route 66, Braziel said.
An employee called the police at 6:51 p.m., Braziel said, and reported a possible burglar inside the building. He said Padilla searched the building with Sgt. Bryan Holmes and located Cortez.
Cortez remains at QCDC on $6,000 bond.
Braziel said the department has noticed a rise in burglaries, and patrols have increased in town.
“We are out on the street doing our best to prevent and solve crimes, and officers are doing all they can to watch for suspicious activity during day and night shifts,” he said.