Man Charged for Rifle Theft, Friends Linked to Hiding Stolen Property
LAS CRUCES — Las Cruces Police arrested a man who believed to have burglarized at least one home Saturday and three of his friends suspected of hiding stolen property.
The suspects are John Paul Zapata and Victoria Rodriguez, both 19, Celeste Lucero, 21, and Jaime Sanchez Flores, 22. Zapata is charged with aggravated burglary with a deadly weapon, burglary and receiving stolen property. Rodriguez, Lucero and Flores are each charged with one count of tampering with evidence.
Police responded to an altercation Saturday on Lester Avenue where they searched the home. They said they spotted two rifles and a television that were believed to be stolen. Detectives suspect Zapata stole the property in June from a home on Jade Avenue. Rodriguez, Lucero and Flores were arrested after officers determined that they attempted to hide the stolen property following Zapata’s arrest.
Detectives are continuing their investigation and additional charges are pending.
Zapata was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center with bond set at $20,000. Rodriguez, Lucero and Flores were each being held on $5,000 bonds.