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HPD: Three charged in car window smashing

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HPD: Three charged in car window smashing

The three suspects in a December spell of broken or smashed car windows in several Hobbs neighborhoods are being charged with 43 misdemeanor counts related to the damage.

Hobbs resident Juan Gonzalez, 18, was arrested Tuesday and charged with 43 counts of tampering with a motor vehicle, all misdemeanors, and two counts of criminal damage to property, petty misdemeanors. He’d been previously arrested Dec. 22 by Hobbs police on a contributing to the delinquency of a minor charge, which is a fourth-degree felony. He is being held at the Hobbs City Jail as of Wednesday, pending his arraignment.

Two juveniles, 16-year-old boys, were released to their parents at the time of the incident. They were charged with 43 counts of tampering and two counts of criminal damage to property. The police report identified the juveniles as Efrain Alvarez, Jr., and Uzziah Rodriguez.

Those cases were referred to the Juvenile Probation Office, according to the Hobbs Police Department.

“We appreciate the help of the public in that case,” Hobbs Police Chief Chris McCall said Wednesday. “It was a citizen who gave us that information to be able to locate those individuals. It’s a very good example of cooperation of citizens — being able to bring a crime spree like that to a successful end and prosecute the (suspects) responsible.”

On Dec. 22, around 1:15 a.m., Hobbs police responded to a report of a damaged window on a vehicle. The vehicle owner told police he saw a vehicle leaving the neighborhood after seeing his truck windows were broken. He then located and pursued the suspected vehicle until Hobbs police arrived, according to the criminal complaint. Officers stopped it outside of a North Lovington Highway business and detained Gonzalez along with the two juveniles. Several objects like a slingshot, CO2 canisters, ball bearings and marbles were seen inside the vehicle, which was towed to the police department.

The criminal complaint states Hobbs police found BBs, two sling shots, two “BB gun pistols,” CO2 cartridges, two containers of BBs, ball bearings, miscellaneous rocks, U.S. currency change, a marble and “one case of sling shot ammunition (round ball type objects)” inside the vehicle during a search.

“Over the next several hours and into the next few days, Lea County Communication Authority began receiving phone calls from citizens from Hobbs reporting that their vehicle windows and some home windows had been damaged throughout the night,” a Hobbs detective wrote. “Reports ranged from persons that reporting that change, BBs, rocks, marbles and ball bearings were found as the objects used to break out the windows.”

The complaint further lists 44 victims, 43 vehicles and two homes with estimated repair costs as “under $1,000.00 for each.” The streets associated with the property damage victims are: North San Andres, North Turner, North Homestead, East Michigan, West Camino Del Arco, West El Centro, North Calle Grande, East Gold, West Vega, East Highland, East Silver, East Bender, East and North Vega, West Bradley, North Orchid, West Yeso, West Copper, North West County Rd., East Chuck Wagon, East Albertson, West Kiowa, North Lovington Highway, East Baja, North Thomas, North Plainfield, North Stevens, North Cobb and East Mesa.

New Mexico court records reflect Gonzalez is set for a Jan. 24 appearance in Hobbs Magistrate Court on the felony charge. He did not have an attorney listed online as of Wednesday.

The police department stated the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information about these incidents is requested to contact Hobbs police at 575-397-9265 or Lea County Crime Stoppers at 575-393-8005.

Burkett Shaw
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