Crime Stoppers Tip Leads to Auto Burglary Arrest
A tip to Crime Stoppers has led to the arrest of a Vado man suspected of breaking into and burglarizing at least one vehicle that was parked near a RedBox kiosk.
Damian Bautista, 20, who resides on Bishops Cap Road in Vado, N.M., is charged with one count each of auto burglary, and unauthorized use or theft of a credit card.
Las Cruces Police detectives learned that Bautista was driving a Chevrolet van on Jan. 7, 2017, when, shortly before 5 p.m., he pulled into a parking space near the Redbox kiosk at the McDonald’s restaurant at 1620 El Paseo Rd. Detectives believe Bautista watched as a Redbox customer arrived and briefly left her vehicle unattended. That’s when Bautista allegedly entered the customer’s vehicle and stole her purse.
An ATM card that was inside the stolen purse was later used to fraudulently withdrawal $400.
Detectives learned that Bautista used to work at the McDonald’s restaurant.
After reviewing surveillance video from McDonald’s, detectives learned that Bautista entered a Toyota Tacoma whose driver briefly left unattended while visiting the Redbox. Detectives believe Bautista may have taken something from the Tacoma and are asking the driver to call police if anything was stolen from the pickup.
Bautista was arrested Friday, Jan. 27, and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center with a cash-only bond set at $10,000.
LCPD reminds drivers to roll up windows and lock all doors when leaving a vehicle unattended, whether it’s for a few seconds or several hours. It takes only seconds for a perpetrator to enter an unlocked vehicle and steal valuables.
Las Cruces Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that helps identify the man suspected of burglarizing vehicles that are parked briefly near Redbox kiosks.
The suspect, driving what appears to be a tan Chevrolet Uplander, parks his vehicle near a Redbox and waits for a customer to park nearby and approach the kiosk. When the Redbox customer is distracted with a transaction, the suspect enters the customer’s unlocked vehicle and steals valuables that are within reach.
Las Cruces Police know of at least two incidents since Jan. 1. Both incidents have occurred at the Redbox kiosk outside the McDonald’s restaurant on El Paseo Drive. In one incident, the suspect stole a purse and later, fraudulently, cashed a check that was stolen.
Surveillance video has captured images of the suspect and the Chevy Uplander.
The suspect appears to be 5-feet-7-inches to 5-feet-10-inches tall with a thin build. He has been seen driving the Uplander that has no hubcaps, rims that are all black and windows that are tinted.
Anyone with information that can help identify the suspect, or information on where the Chevy Uplander might be, is asked to call Las Cruces Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or send a tip by text message to CRIMES (274637), keyword LCTIPS.
The Crime Stoppers number and text messaging services are operational 24 hours a day and you do not have to give your name to collect a reward.