Home Law and Courts Teen burglar voluntarily returns items and apologizes

Teen burglar voluntarily returns items and apologizes

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Gabrielle Arsiaga/News-Sun

In a rare turn of events, a 16-year-old Hobbs male allegedly broke into a home and stole items from the home — but later returned those items and left a note apologizing for committing the crime.

“I am the idiot that broke into your house, and I am so sorry. I have no idea what I was thinking,” the 16-year-old wrote. “My friends would always steal and they looked happy, so I tried it. It’s not something to be proud of or happy about. The past few days I’ve been thinking of how you must have felt and how scary it must be for someone to break into your home and it made me feel like an (expletive).

The 16-year-old not only allegedly returned the homeowner’s computer, but left several other of his own items on the porch to make up for the damages done to the window when he broke in.

“I’m really, really sorry for what I did. I don’t have the money to pay for the window I broke, but here are these things that you can maybe sell to get the money,” his letter continued. “I’m going to bring more some other day. Again I am so sorry. I will just focus on school and getting my GED.”

Around 12:30 a.m., Sept. 15, Lea County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to a home on the 900 block of East Sante Fe Street in Hobbs in reference to the residential burglary.

Deputies were told by the homeowner the “offender” had returned to the home — four days later — and returned the stolen items and left the note.

“(Deputies) observed the other items left at the scene as a separate HP computer tower including the power supply and a flat screen monitor, and a remote control drone,” the criminal complaint states.

The homeowner showed deputies video surveillance footage of the incident, which was also posted to the LCSO social media page asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the juvenile.

On Sept. 20, LCSO investigators received a call from the 16-year-old’s mother who said she learned her son was involved in the burglary after seeing his photo posted by LCSO on social media. She identified her son by name and said she would bring him to the LCSO to speak with investigators.

The 16-year-old told investigators he went to the residence and broke the window by throwing something through it. He said he crawled through the window, took the computer, left, and went home.

“(The 16-year-old) stated he began to feel bad and decided to return the computer to the residence and even left items that belonged to him so the owner of the home could sell the items, and afford to replace the window he had broken,” the criminal complaint stated.

“(The 16-year-old) stated he wrote the letter located at the scene apologizing to the owner of the house for breaking in and stealing the computer.”

The homeowner told deputies he still wanted to pursue criminal charges against the juvenile.

The 16-year-old was arrested on Sept. 26 on three warrants for burglary of dwelling, criminal damage to property, and larceny over $2,500 under $20,000, all third-degree felonies; and breaking and entering, a fourth-degree felony.

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