Former employee allegedly helped rob a Las Cruces smoke shop, police say


Oscar Angel/ Courtesy LCPD

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – A former smoke shop employee allegedly helped rob his old store and was caught because he removed his mask in front of security cameras, police said.

Oscar Angel, 50, is facing armed robbery and conspiracy charges after allegedly holding-up the Southwest Vape store at 1128 S. Solano Drive at about 9 p.m. on Thursday, the Las Cruces Police Department said in a news release.

A current employee at the store was locking up, when two masked men forced their way into the store, one armed with a handgun.

“As one of the suspects tied up and held the gun to the employee, the second suspect broke into the cash register and stole an undisclosed amount of currency,” the release said. “The two suspects also stole a safe that had been bolted to a counter.”

Police found the employee tied up and uninjured. When they reviewed the surveillance video, Angel was seen removing his mask and walking right in front of the camera. The current employee recognized him, the release said.

Investigators used a search warrant at Angel’s house and found the shoes, jeans, gloves and hoodie worn by the suspect in the video, police said.

Angel at first, refused to exit his house and then denied knowledge of the robbery. He later provided a statement to investigators admitting involvement in the robbery, police said.

Angel was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center.

Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call 575-526-0795.

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