POSTED: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - 2:49pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - 5:22pm
LAS CRUCES- Police arrested a couple who stole merchandise from a department store in the Mesilla Valley Mall and assaulted a loss prevention officer as they attempted to escape.
Dolores T. Ontiveros, 35, and Richard A. Serna, 26, are charged with one count each of armed robbery, a third-degree felony.
Monday night, police were called to the Dillard’s department store at the Mesilla Valley Mall where Ontiveros attempted to steal two pair of jeans in her purse.
A loss prevention officer attempted to stop Ontiveros but she kept walking out the store. The officer then grabbed the woman’s purse to prevent her from leaving and a struggle ensued. A man, identified as Serna, then approached and assaulted the loss prevention officer.
Another Dillard’s employee and a mall security guard became aware of the incident and confronted the couple but Serna indicated that he was carrying a weapon and would use it to escape.
The employees followed them to a nearby Target store, where officers arrested them.
Detectives learned that Serna was carrying a box cutter knife in his pocket.
Upon learning her identity, police discovered that Ontiveros had an outstanding warrant for her arrest. She is being held at the Dona Ana County Detention Center with bond set at $6,000. Serna is being held on a $5,000 bond.