“Ninja burglar” fled to Los Alamos

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LAPD use field technology to confirm identity of wanted teenager

By Carol A. Clark

The Santa Fe boy dubbed the “ninja burglar” for reportedly donning a hood and black clothing and wielding an axe in the course of an alleged burglary was captured on 9th Street Saturday.

“We received an anonymous tip about 2:30 p.m. that Shalom Katz was inside apartment #15 at 1203 9th St., and we dispatched officers to that address,” Los Alamos Deputy Chief Kevin Purtymun said. “When Cpl. Larry Baker and Cpl. Alfred Roybal arrived, the suspect was sitting outside in front of the apartment.”

Katz, 17, gave the officers a false name and birth date and initially said he lived at the apartment, Purtymun said. Katz couldn’t say how long he’d lived in the apartment. After further questioning, Katz told police that the apartment belonged to a friend, but then he couldn’t name the friend.

Katz’ apparel matched the anonymous caller’s description, but to confirm his identity, the officers requested a mug shot from dispatch. A dispatch operator transmitted Katz’ photo to an officer’s cell phone at the scene and the positive ID was made, Purtymun said.

Police transported Katz to the Los Alamos Detention Center where they intend to refer him to the juvenile probation officer on charges of concealing his identity.

A Santa Fe police officer picked Katz up at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday and took him to the Santa Fe Juvenile Detention Center in relation to two District Court warrants, Purtymun said.

The first warrant was issued Wednesday in relation to a Sept. 20 jewelry store robbery in which Katz allegedly used an axe to shatter a large glass display case and then flee with about $3,800 in jewelry.

Santa Fe police issued a second warrant Thursday stemming from Katz’ alleged involvement in a vehicle break-in, during which he reportedly stole purses and jewelry, including a diamond ring worth about $96,000.

“I’m really glad our officers were able to use technology available to them in the field to confirm the suspect’s identity,” Purtymun said. “And we’re happy anytime we’re able to help another agency, especially our close neighbor, the Santa Fe Police Department, to make their city a little safer.”