Teens Arrested In Purse Snatching

Las Cruces – Las Cruces Police arrested two teenagers for their involvement in a Monday evening robbery.

Lavier B. Watters, 19, and John Paul Zapata, 17, were arrested Tuesday morning. Watters and Zapata have each been charged with armed robbery, conspiracy to commit a third-degree felony and tampering with evidence.

At around 11:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, police were called to the 1800 block of Embassy Drive where a woman told officers that two young men had just wrestled away her purse that contained an income tax refund. The victim told officers that she had just arrived home, and exited her vehicle, when the two men approached her.

A witness identified Zapata as possibly being one of the suspects. Police located Zapata and learned that Watters was his accomplice. Zapata and Watters were located at their respective homes. Police also recovered the woman's purse and its contents.

Watters was transported to the Dona Ana County Detention Center with bond set at $11,000. Zapata was being held in the juvenile section of the detention center.