Join us at 7 p.m. Aug. 19 for the second annual Aggie Badge Bowl at Aggie Memorial Stadium. Admission is free.
Man Suspected of Holding Wife Against Her Will Las Cruces Police arrested a man suspected of holding his wife against her will and taking away a cell phone when she tried to call for help. James Vigil, 44, is charged with a fourth-degree felony count of false imprisonment, and misdemeanor counts of battery against a household member and interference with communications. Investigators learned that Vigil’s wife received a text message from their 13-year-old son at 11:18 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7. Vigil became upset and refused to believe the message was from their son and, instead, accused her of having an affair. Investigators learned that Vigil tried to force his wife to unlock her cell phone and demanded she give him the security code. The woman refused and Vigil forcefully pulled her hair and physically tried to force her to unlock the cell phone. Vigil is also accused of taking away their son’s cell phone so it could not be used to call police. At about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, their son ran to a nearby home where he called 911. Officers arrived shortly thereafter. When Vigil was taken into custody, he was found to be in possession of their son’s cell phone. Vigil was arrested early Tuesday morning and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he’s initially being held without bond.
Mimbres Woman Suspected in Shoplifting Police arrested a Mimbres Valley woman suspected of shoplifting more than $600 worth of clothing from a local Walmart store. Samantha Grijalva, 24, of Mimbres, N.M., is charged with one count of larceny, a fourth-degree felony. At about 3 p.m. on Aug. 6, Las Cruces Police officers were dispatched to the report of a shoplifting suspect in custody at the Walmart store on Rinconada Boulevard. Loss prevention employees told police that Grijalva was seen on surveillance cameras shopping at the store since about 2 p.m. Investigators learned that Grijalva purchased a small plastic bin and left the store. She then re-entered the store with the bin, abandoned it and picked up a much larger plastic bin which she proceeded to fill with new clothes. A loss prevention officer stopped Grijalva as she attempted to leave the store with the stolen merchandise. The merchandise concealed in the plastic bin was valued at $640.40. Grijalva was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center on Aug. 6. She was released the following day.
Police Need Help Identifying Couple in Shoplifting Incident Las Cruces Crime Stoppers is offering a reward up to $1,000 for information that helps identify a couple suspected of shoplifting a felony amount of electronics from Walmart. The shoplifting incident occurred sometime before 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 27, at the Walmart store at 1550 S. Valley Dr. Las Cruces Police learned that the couple, a man and woman, worked together to commit the crime. Surveillance video shows the man break a lock on a case holding electronics. He then placed several iPods and Beats headphones in a shopping cart. Surveillance video shows the woman cover the merchandise with a small rug before the couple walks to another part of Walmart. There, they load the merchandise into their pockets and a fanny pack, and then leave the store without paying for any of the items. Walmart estimated the merchandise to be valued at $3,500. The couple was seen leaving the parking lot in what appears to be a white SUV, possibly a GMC Yukon or Chevrolet Suburban. Police believe the vehicle has Texas plates. Anyone with information that can help identify the two suspects is asked to call Las Cruces Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). The Crime Stoppers number is operational 24 hours a day and you do not have to give your name to collect a reward.
86-year-old Man Reported Missing Police are asking for the public’s help locating an 86-year-old man who has not been seen by family since Sunday afternoon and, because of his age and health, could be in danger. David Tellez Jr. suffers from dementia and Alzheimer’s, and was last seen at about 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6, at his Las Cruces home on the 3300 block of Blue Ridge Lane. Tellez left the residence driving his silver 2004 Toyota RAV4 with Texas license plate No. 7BWGT. Tellez used to live in El Paso and may have driven there. Tellez is 5-feet tall and weighs approximately 144 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white shirt and brown khaki pants. Tellez lost the use of his right eye and is hard of hearing. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of David Tellez Jr. is asked to call 911 immediately.
Bicycle Winners are All Smiles Thanks to a local small business that donated eight brand new bicycles, the Las Cruces Police Department's Codes Enforcement officers were able to see the smiling faces of eight children who were recipients of those bikes during Tuesday's National Night Out event. The business owners asked to remain anonymous and said they simply wanted to give back to the community without fanfare. Six of the lucky winners are pictured below. Again, Codes Enforcement and the Las Cruces Police Department wish to thank the local business owners for their generosity.
Mother, Grandfather Charged after Teen Tests Positive for Meth The mother and grandfather of a 14-year-old boy are suspected of smoking methamphetamine near the teenager’s bedroom, which resulted in him testing positive for the stimulant. Corinne Irene Gomez, 32, and her father, 59-year-old Jerry Marquez, are each charged with a third-degree felony count of child abuse. Las Cruces Police investigators learned that the 14-year-old boy sought medical attention for migraine headaches on June 28. Subsequent examinations on the teen indicated that he tested positive for methamphetamine. Investigators learned from Gomez that the teens bedroom, at his grandparents’ home, is near the garage. Gomez also indicated that Marquez, her father, and his friends regularly smoke methamphetamine in the garage. Upon further investigation, detectives learned that both Gomez and Marquez have been smoking methamphetamine in the garage. Both suspects submitted samples and both tested positive for high levels of methamphetamine which is indicative of prolonged use of the drug. It’s well known that children exposed to methamphetamine smoke can test positive for the drug. Methamphetamine can enter the body through direct contact, or ingested through the mouth or nose. Warrants were issued for the arrests of Gomez and Marquez. They were both arrested late Wednesday evening and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where they are initially being held without bond.
Frank Ray's Gone Country Wednesday was bittersweet at the Las Cruces Police Department as 10-year officer Frank Gomez said his goodbyes, leaving his day job for a fulltime career as a musician. Gomez served 10 years as a patrol officer after graduating from LCPD's academy. During that time he's also pursued a career in country music, most notably with the local country music group Border Avenue. Gomez is now taking his talent on the road under the moniker Frank Ray. Frank has set an ambitious schedule for the next few months that will introduce him to new fans from coast-to-coast. The men and women of the Las Cruces Police Department wish Frank the best of luck as he pursues his musical dreams. Frank served our community with professionalism and he'll do the same in the country music industry. Godspeed and good luck, Frank! Pictured, left to right, are LCPD deputy chief Justin Dunivan, Frank Gomez, Chief Jaime Montoya and deputy chief Miguel Dominguez.
Traffic Officers Meet ‘Little Wonders’ On Tuesday, Aug. 1, Las Cruces Police officers responded to a three-vehicle motor vehicle crash involving a van carrying 16 children from the Little Wonders Learning Center. Luckily, no major injuries were reported. The crash, investigated by LCPD’s Traffic Unit, occurred at about 1:30 p.m. near the intersection of Solano Drive and Foster Road. On Wednesday, officers from LCPD’s Traffic Unit conducted a follow-up visit with the children at Little Wonders. As one officer mentioned, “these officers wanted to show the kids they really cared about their safety and well-being.” The officers got to visit with the children and handed out goodie-bags to all the kids at the Little Wonders Learning Center. Pictured with the children are officers Alexis Rodriguez and Daniel Thomas.
Payless Shoes Robbery Suspect Sought Las Cruces Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that helps identify the woman suspected in the July 29 armed robbery at Payless Shoes. Shortly before 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, a woman walked into the Payless Shoes store at 1007 El Paseo Rd., indicated that she armed with a handgun and demanded money from an employee. The employee complied with the woman’s demands. The employee identified the woman as white or Hispanic with a medium build and possibly in her 40s or 50s. She was said to be wearing a black hoody, blue scrub pants, sunglasses and a dust mask. The woman was said to speak proper English with no hint of an accent. Anyone with information that can help identify the suspect is asked to call Las Cruces Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). The Crime Stoppers number is operational 24 hours a day and you do not have to give your name to collect a reward.
Man Suspected of Throwing Knife at Girlfriend Las Cruces Police arrested a man suspected of throwing a knife at his girlfriend causing her to be injured. Matthew Castillo, of the 1100 block of Montana Avenue, is charged with a felony count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and a misdemeanor count of battery against a household member. Police were dispatched to Memorial Medical Center on July 30 where they spoke with Castillo’s girlfriend who was being treated to a stab wound to her leg. Her injuries were not life-threatening. Investigators learned that Castillo and the woman were in a relationship and living together. Investigators were told that on July 29, the woman accidentally stepped on a tray that contained marijuana, spilling the substance on the floor. That, apparently, caused Castillo to become upset and led to a verbal argument. Investigators learned that, at some point during the argument, Castillo grabbed a throwing knife and threw it at his girlfriend. The knife struck her leg causing her injury. Castillo is also suspected of forcefully grabbing the woman in a threatening manner. The woman left the residence and, the following day, went to the hospital for treatment of her injury. A warrant was issued for Castillo’s arrest. He was located Aug. 1 and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he’s initially being held without bond.
Children Help ID Suspect in Auto Burglary A Las Cruces man suspected of trying to enter a car occupied by two young children was arrested shortly thereafter and charged with burglarizing a nearby vehicle. Andy Lucero, 31, of the 1300 block of Branson Avenue, is charged with one count of auto burglary, a fourth-degree felony. At about 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 30, police were dispatched to the report of an auto burglary at an apartment complex on the 1300 block of Branson Avenue. Officers learned that Lucero, a resident of the apartment complex, entered a vehicle and stole papers from inside. Investigators interviewed two witnesses, a 10-year-old girl and 11-year-old boy, who happened to be retrieving a ball from a relative’s vehicle that was parked nearby. Investigators learned that the two children saw Lucero and were afraid, so they locked themselves in their relative’s vehicle. Lucero apparently saw the children inside the vehicle and tried to gain access to that car. The children indicated that they watched as Lucero burglarized the nearby vehicle and waited for him to leave before they exited their relative’s car. The children then alerted the owner of the vehicle that was burglarized. Police located Lucero nearby and detained him for questioning. Lucero was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he’s being held on a $5,000 bond.
Trespassing Suspect Charged with Striking Officers Las Cruces Police arrested a man suspected of striking two officers and resisting arrest during an incident Saturday at a local hotel. Desi Nunez, 27, of the 900 block of Gregg Street, is charged with two felony counts of battery upon a peace officer and three misdemeanor counts of resisting, evading or obstructing an officer. Shortly before 10 a.m. Saturday, July 29, Las Cruces Police were dispatched to the report of a man trespassing at Hotel Encanto at 705 S. Telshor Blvd. Officers learned that the man, later identified as Nunez, was on the balcony of a first-floor room that was registered to hotel guests. Nunez was not registered at the hotel. Nunez refused an officer’s repeated requests that he leave the balcony. When two offices tried to take Nunez into custody, he punched them and physically resisted their attempts. Only after a third officer arrived were police able to safely take Nunez into custody. Two of the officers received minor injuries during the incident. Nunez was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he remains held without bond.
Flooding Possible in Some Areas We have heard reports of flooded roadways and arroyos south of Las Cruces, and along the I-10 frontage roads between Vado and Las Cruces. Motorists are warned to slow their speeds and avoid crossing flooded roadways.
Highway 70 Roadblocks Planned Highway 70 east of Las Cruces will see two one-hour roadblocks on Tuesday morning. The roadblocks are set to begin at 4:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1. Both are planned to last about one hour. The blocks will be located at Blue Block (2 miles east of the access road - Mile Marker 172) and Brown Block (Mile Marker 192). The St. Augustine Pass, the Las Cruces Gate, Owen Road and Nike Avenue are not affected by this block. All roadblocks are subject to change without notice. Call (575) 678-1178 for Highway70 updates.
Local Business Donates Bicycles for NNO Giveaways A local small business has donated eight brand new bicycles and has asked the Las Cruces Codes Enforcement Office to give them away during Tuesday evening's National Night Out event on the Downtown Mall. The small business owners asked to remain anonymous and said they simply wanted to give back to the community without fanfare. The bikes range in size for young children to teenagers. The Las Cruces Codes Enforcement Office, part of the Las Cruces Police Department, thanks the local business owners for their generosity and support. Look for the Codes Enforcement booth at the National Night Out event where eight lucky children will walk away - or ride away - with a brand new bicycle. National Night Out will be held from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, along Main Street in downtown Las Cruces. Parking for the event can be found in the lots surrounding Main Street Downtown or at City Hall. National Night Out is a free community event that gives residents an evening to meet their neighbors and area first responders. National Night Out is kid-friendly with many giveaways and one-on-one interaction with first responders from throughout southern New Mexico. Also during the National Night Out will be a free Ident-A-Child hosted by LCPD. Parents or caregivers will receive a photo ID card which can be used in the event a child becomes lost or missing.
LCPD Mourns Loss of DASO Deputy The men and women of the Las Cruces Police Department are saddened by the loss of Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office deputy Donald J. “D.J.” Lewis. D.J. was a well-respected deputy and beloved member of our local law enforcement family. DASO’s loss is a loss for our entire community. LCPD sends its collective thoughts and prayers to D.J.’s family, friends and to all those who worked alongside him.
Police Chief Sets Retirement Date Las Cruces City Manager Stuart C. Ed announced Friday that Police Chief Jaime R. Montoya will retire on Dec. 23, 2017. Montoya was named police chief on Dec. 29, 2013. Montoya is a 26-year veteran of the Las Cruces Police Department (LCPD). He holds a bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University and graduated from the Las Cruces Police Academy in 1991. During his career, he served as a patrol officer, traffic officer, detective, sergeant, lieutenant and deputy chief in charge of the department’s operations and budget. In announcing Montoya’s retirement, Ed said, “Jaime is a fantastic police chief and leaves behind a legacy of leadership. His department is professional and well run. He is a tremendous credit to our community. My deepest and heartfelt thanks to him and his family.” Montoya stated, “It has been rewarding to work for the City of Las Cruces and its citizens. I wish nothing but the best for the future of the Las Cruces Police Department and the City. I will never be able to repay the community, the city and the department for all they have given me. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve with P.R.I.D.E.”
Aug. 2 will mark the two-year anniversary of the unsolved explosions at two Las Cruces churches, and the FBI wants to remind the public it is still looking for tips in the case. The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for these crimes. On Aug. 2, 2015, explosive devices detonated at Calvary Baptist Church and Holy Cross Catholic Church. Nobody was injured. On Aug. 14, 2015, an undetonated device was discovered near the entrance of First Presbyterian Church and rendered safe. It is believed this device was placed within hours of the other two devices, either in the late hours of Aug. 1 or early morning of Aug. 2. The FBI, working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Homeland Security Investigations; U.S. Attorney’s Office; New Mexico State Police; Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office; Las Cruces Police Department; and New Mexico State University Police Department, is pursuing all possible leads regarding this matter. Authorities are still looking for a person of interest in this case. A man was seen walking through the parking lot of Calvary Baptist Church around the time of the explosion there. Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call the FBI at 505-889-1300 or Las Cruces Crime Stoppers (anonymously) at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
2 Arrested in Drive-by Shooting Death of Teen Girl Las Cruces Police have arrested two brothers suspected for their involvement in Saturday morning’s drive-by shooting that resulted in the death of 14-year-old Jocelyn Trujillo-Pierce. Julio Gutierrez-Barrera, 20, and his 19-year-old brother Alonzo Barrera, were arrested Saturday. Julio Gutierrez-Barrera is charged with an open count of murder, tampering with evidence and conspiracy to commit a felony. Alonzo Barrera is charged with tampering with evidence and conspiracy to commit a felony. Investigators learned that a large group of people were at a party during the morning of Saturday, July 29, at 1421 Monte Vista Ave. Investigators also learned that Trujillo-Pierce and a 17-year-old friend were party-hopping early Saturday morning, celebrating Trujillo-Pierce’s recent release from juvenile detention. At some point during the morning, they arrived at the Monte Vista party. Investigators determined that Gutierrez-Barrera and Barrera were at the party but, at about 3 a.m., left after having a dispute with someone who was also in attendance. It’s believed that shortly after leaving the party, Gutierrez-Barrera was driving his Hyundai Elantra along Monte Vista Avenue when he stopped in front of the residence and fired three rounds from a 9mm semiautomatic handgun toward the home. One of those rounds penetrated an exterior wall and struck Trujillo-Pierce who was inside the residence. The round struck Trujillo-Pierce in the back of her head. Gutierrez-Barrera and his brother then fled from the scene in the Hyundai Elantra. After learning the identities of the two suspects, police located and took custody of both brothers at their apartment at 1410 S. Telshor Blvd. Investigators learned of the possible whereabouts of the handgun believed to be used in the shooting. After executing search warrants, police located the handgun in the glove box of a vehicle belonging to a friend of the brothers. The investigation into the incident is ongoing and additional charges are possible. No other information will be released at this time. Julio Gutierrez-Barrera and Alonzo Barrera were both booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center late Saturday evening. Both are initially being held without bond.
Coffee with a Cop at Target The Las Cruces Police Department wishes to thank the kind folks at Target who hosted Coffee with a Cop on Saturday afternoon. It was great to meeting many of our residents today and several kids received their free Ident-A-Child ID card during the day. The next opportunity to meet with officers and receive a free Ident-A-Child card is Tuesday, Aug. 1, during the National Night Out in Downtown Las Cruces. See you there! :)
Homicide Investigation in Las Cruces On July 29, 2017, at about 3:15 a.m., Las Cruces Police Department officers responded to a call for assistance in the 1400 block of Monte Vista Street. At least one gunshot was fired from the street toward an area home. One teenage female was pronounced dead at the scene. The Las Cruces Police Department is asking for the community's help. If you have any information, please call police at (575) 526-0795.
LCPD Plans Checkpoints and Saturation Patrols Las Cruces Police will conduct at least five sobriety checkpoints and one saturation patrol within city limits during the next month. Sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols are intended to reduce and eliminate the number of motorists who drive while intoxicated. Officers will also be on the lookout for other traffic safety violations such as drivers using cell phones, and those who fail to properly use seatbelts or child safety seats. Las Cruces Police encourage those who plan on consuming alcoholic beverages to use a designated driver – someone who will not be drinking alcoholic beverages – for their transportation needs.
City Hosts National Night Out on Tuesday The Las Cruces police and fire departments are hosting Tuesday evening’s National Night Out on Main Street Downtown. National Night Out will be held from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, along Main Street in downtown Las Cruces. Parking for the event can be found in the lots surrounding Main Street Downtown or at City Hall. National Night Out is a free community event that gives residents an evening to meet their neighbors and area first responders. National Night Out is kid-friendly with many giveaways and one-on-one interaction with first responders from throughout southern New Mexico. The Las Cruces Police Department will hold a free Ident-A-Child during the evening. Parents or caregivers receive a photo ID card which can be used in the event a child becomes lost or missing.
Special Event Planned Aug. 19 for Manny Lopez The men and women of the Las Cruces Police Department welcomed a special visitor this week. On Wednesday, 8-year-old Manny Lopez dropped by to meet with officers and get a tour of LCPD. Manny suffers from osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, but his strength has inspired many of our officers. On Saturday, Aug. 19, LCPD is hosting a ‘Hoops for Hope’ basketball event at Camino Real Middle School in honor of Manny and his family. LCPD will participate in a charity basketball game. The event, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day, will also include free throw and 3-point shooting contests, food trucks, jumping balloons, a silent auction and door prizes. Advanced admission tickets for the event are $5 for children and students, and $7.50 for adults. Tickets the day of the event are $7.50 for children and students, and $10 for adults. All proceeds from the event will benefit Manny and his family. Anyone wishing more information on the event can contact Diana Talamantes-Lopez via Facebook, or call (575) 635-6878 or (575) 680-6127.
Woman in Rollover Crash was Driving Stolen Vehicle A Deming woman involved in a rollover crash Wednesday afternoon is suspected of stealing the vehicle earlier in the day. Kayla Jean Burkhardt, 20, of the 5900 block of Triste Road in Deming, N.M., is charged with one felony count of possession of a stolen vehicle and a misdemeanor count of concealing identity. Shortly after noon on Wednesday, July 26, Las Cruces Police were dispatched to the report of a rollover crash at the intersection of University Avenue and Don Roser Drive. Officers arrived to find the crash involved a Volkswagen Jetta and a Jeep Cherokee that had rolled over. The driver of the Cherokee, later identified as Burkhardt, had fled the scene but was quickly located at a nearby hotel. Investigators learned that the Cherokee had been reported stolen from Deming earlier in the day. Burkhardt received relatively minor injuries from the crash and was transported to the nearby Memorial Medical Center where investigators interviewed her. Initially, she identified herself under another name but then acknowledged her real identity. Investigators learned that she stole the vehicle from a hospital in Deming on Wednesday morning. She also indicated that she smoked methamphetamine prior to the crash. Traffic investigators determined the crash occurred when both vehicles entered the intersection at the same time. In addition to the felony and misdemeanor charges, Burkhardt is expected to receive a traffic citation for failure to yield. Burkhardt was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where she is being held on a $20,000 bond.
Police Hope to ID Fraud Suspects Las Cruces Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that helps identify two young men suspected of cashing a fraudulent check. Las Cruces Police learned that an 81-year-old woman’s check was stolen from the mail sometime in June, altered from $100 to $402, and then cashed by two young men at a local Family Dollar store. Surveillance video from the Family Dollar store, at 1690 S. Solano Dr., shows the young men as they entered and left the store at about noon on June 16. Anyone who can help identify the young men is asked to call Las Cruces Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). The Crime Stoppers number is operational 24 hours a day and you do not have to give your name to collect a reward.