Pair Arrested On Burglary Charges

Las Cruces – Las Cruces Police arrested two men early this morning after a woman's vehicle was broken into and her purse was taken.

Victor Manuel Pinedo, 23, of the 1400 block of Nevada Avenue, and Eric Chavez, 19, of the 1700 block of Smith Avenue, are charged with one count each of burglary of a vehicle, conspiracy and tampering with evidence. Pinedo also faces two counts of bribery of a witness.

Shortly after 1:30 a.m. on Monday, April 26, Las Cruces Police were called to 805 S. Solano Dr. after someone broke into a vehicle and took a woman's purse. Officers learned that the victim and a friend saw the suspects leave the area in a red Honda sports utility vehicle, and were able to get a license plate number and call 911.

That information was passed along to officers who located Chavez and the red Honda.

Detectives learned that Pinedo told Chavez that he was going to break into a vehicle, and asked Chavez to wait and give him a ride after he committed the crime. After taking the purse, Chavez, Pinedo and a friend of theirs left the area and headed east on Lohman Avenue and into the desert near the city's old landfill. Chavez then gave Pinedo and his friend a ride home.

Officers located and interviewed all three men and determined that Pinedo is the one who planned the auto burglary. The victim's purse was located on the side of the road and one of her credit cards was found in Chavez's vehicle.

Detectives also learned that Pinedo threatened Chavez and his friend if they revealed his identity or talked to police.

Pinedo was transported to the Dona Ana County Detention Center with bond set at $26,000. Chavez was being held on a $20,000 bond. No charges were filed against their friend.