More and more cases are solved today by DNA and CSI but don’t discount the value of good old fashioned detective work when it comes to solving crimes in Torrance County. Early in the day on New Years Eve, deputies responded to reports of a commercial burglary at Gustin Hardware in Mountainair, according to reports filed with the sheriff’s department.


Later that afternoon, Detective Lt. Ken Ballard visited the location and noticed footprints leading away from the scene. That led him to identify video cameras owned by the Town of Mountainair covering the getaway route. Sheriff David Frazee says that video and tips from “observant” nearby residents helped detectives identify the suspect who made it easy for detectives to link him to the crime by keeping them in plain view through an open window when detectives visited his home. A search warrant was promptly obtained and the 27-year old suspect was promptly arrested and booked into the county jail. He told detectives that some of the property had been sold in Albuquerque for drugs and money, according to details provided by the sheriff. As persons arrested for crimes are presumed innocent until conviction, The Independent does not publicly identify persons arrested or accused of crimes until conviction or unless the offender poses a public safety risk.


The total value of goods stolen is listed at between $500 and $2500. Detectives say they have visited locations in Albuquerque attempting to recover the sold goods.