By Carlos Padilla
An investigation into an auto burglary eventually led officials with the Truth or Consequences Police Department (TCPD) to a felon armed with a firearm.
A criminal complaint filed in Sierra County Magistrate Court on Thursday, Aug. 7, details the criminal counts filed against 27-year-old Rueben W. Stokes of the 1300-block of Copper Street in Truth or Consequences. Those charges include a fourth-degree felony charge of felon in possession of a firearm as well as four misdemeanors, including possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while license suspended or revoked, and two counts of resisting or evading an officer.
In his criminal complaint, TCPD Sgt. Ted Ontiveros states that he spoke with a local man who reported he was the victim of an auto burglary in the parking lot of a local retail store along North Date Street on Sunday, Aug. 3. The man reported that several items were taken from his blue Jeep.
TCPD Officer Leonard reviewed the security footage of the parking lot and identified a four-door silver sedan pull up next to the Jeep. A man reportedly entered the Jeep from the passenger side of the vehicle and re-entered the silver sedan on the passenger side of that vehicle. The sedan then drove toward the front of the retail store.
The security footage shows a man wearing a dark muscle shirt entering the unoccupied Jeep just after 1:30 p.m., Sunday. The video footage appears to show two occupants inside the silver sedan. The footage also shows damage to the front driver’s side door and quarter panel as well as dents to the front and rear passenger doors.
At approximately 5:15 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 6, TCPD Sgt. Ontiveros and officers Anthony Zagorski and Gary Richins attempted to stop the sedan and identify the occupants, but were unable to locate the suspect vehicle after it turned onto South Broadway from Van Patten heading south.
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