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Hobbsan arrested for the 15th time

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Gabrielle Arsiaga/News-Sun

A Hobbs man who has been arrested more than 14 times since 2015, was once again arrested, making number 15 — this time for arson.

Reid Menefee, 29, of Hobbs, was arrested on March 25 on a warrant for arson less than $250, a misdemeanor.

According to a Hobbs Police Department criminal complaint, on March 6, an off-duty officer was traveling westbound on Rose Lane. At the intersection of Rose Lane and Dal Paso Street, the officer said he saw Menefee crouched down in the bar ditch on the southeast corner of the intersection.

The ditch, according to the officer, contained grass and weeds approximately eight to 10 inches high. The off-duty officer noticed Menefee shielding the wind with his body and appearing to be hiding something.

When Menefee stood up, smoke and fire began to emit from where Menefee was crouched.

The off-duty officer and his wife got out of their vehicle and put the fire out before it could become larger.

Because the HPD officer was off duty and knew Menefee’s identity from previous encounters, Menefee was not arrested at the time of the incident — but a warrant was put out for his arrest.

In another recent incident occurring on March 17, LCSO deputies were in the area of Billy Walker Road attempting to serve a warrant for Menefee’s arrest.

The deputies believed Menefee to be hiding in a caliche pit and were attempting to locate Menefee.

Before deputies could speak with Menefee, he was seen jumping onto a tractor parked on the property and driving away. Menefee jumped off of the tractor while it was moving and began running northbound for approximately 1.7 miles through ranch land before he was taken into custody by deputies.

Menefee was charged in this case with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, and criminal damage to property, both fourth-degree felonies; and resisting evading or obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor. He was released on March 18, before being arrested again on March 25, and is scheduled for a preliminary examination on April 19 before Lovington Magistrate David Finger.

In a third recent incident on Feb. 21, Menefee is alleged to have stolen a four wheeler and dirt bike from the backyard of a residence located on the 6000 block of North Davis Lane in Hobbs.

According to a Lea County Sheriff’s Office criminal complaint, while LCSO deputies were speaking with the homeowner, they noticed a small motorbike parked behind the residence that was also reported stolen.

After searching the area for Menefee, deputies located him in a field north of Ja-Rob Lane with the stolen dirt bike.

Menefee was charged with residential burglary, a third-degree felony; and criminal damage to property, a misdemeanor. He was released on Feb. 23 and is scheduled for a preliminary examination today (March 31) before Hobbs Magistrate Clipper Miller.

For the arson case, Menefee is currently being held at the Lea County Detention Center. He is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on July 13 before Magistrate Clipper Miller.

Menefee’s priors arrests include charges of:

• Two counts possession of a controlled substance, both fourth-degree felonies

• Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor

• Two counts non-residential burglary, a fourth-degree felony

• No driver’s license, a misdemeanor

• No proof of insurance, a misdemeanor

• Two counts resisting evading or obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor

• Two counts aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer, a fourth-degree felony

• Two counts escape or attempt to escape from the custody of a peace officer, both fourth-degree felonies

• Two counts no driver’s license, a misdemeanor

• Two counts improper display of registration plate, a misdemeanor

• Two counts improper equipment, a misdemeanor

• Reckless driving, a misdemeanor

• Expired driver’s license, a misdemeanor

• Indecent exposure, a misdemeanor

• Larceny, a misdemeanor

• Burglary of a vehicle, a fourth-degree felony

• Attempt to commit a felony, to wit: larceny (over $2,500), a fourth-degree felony

• Residential burglary, a third-degree felony

• Criminal damage to property (under $1,000), a misdemeanor

• Unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony

• Criminal damage to property (over $1,000), a fourth-degree felony

• Arson ($250 or less), a misdemeanor

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