Police nab burglary suspect

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Crime > LAHS student allegedly stole guns

By Tris DeRoma

For being the alleged sole suspect in a string of burglaries, Aaron Nguyen, 18, appears to have been very prolific.


At the Los Alamos Police Department, the detectives who apprehended him had many of the stolen items he took on display.

The loot consisted of at least four laptops, numerous gun magazines, swords, watches, jewelry, a .38 revolver, a Glock 9 mm, a Glock 40, a Sig Sauer 45, an AR-15 rifle, a .308 rifle, numerous cameras and other items of value.

Police also confiscated several bottles of “Blue Moon” beer from the suspect’s bedroom, where he was hiding the rest of the stolen items as well, according to police.

Nguyen, a student at Los Alamos High School, was booked into the station. Det. Daniel Roberts said Nguyen is probably going to be charged with aggravated burglary and larceny of a firearm. Roberts said Nguyen got aggravated burglary because guns were taken.

Nguyen bonded out of Los Alamos Detention Center on a $69,000 cash surety bond, according to Det. Oliver Morris.

Police are investigating to see if others were involved in the crime spree. But they do know the items they put on display came from at least six houses Nguyen allegedly hit.

“As far as we know, there’s only one suspect at this time,” Det. Paige Early said.

Police said most of the items collected from Nguyen’s home were stolen in the last month, but a few things were reported stolen last year.

“Some of the evidence we collected goes back to last year, so we aren’t sure how many burglaries he’s committed at this point,” Roberts said.

Nguyen’s burglary spree ended when police worked a lead through school resource officers.

Roberts said what also helped is that the victims kept very good records of their items, which made identifying the stole goods easier.

“The victims were able to give very good descriptions of their belongings,” Roberts said. “Having good descriptions really helped. They had serial numbers on things people usually don’t have serial numbers on, which was very helpful.”

Police said Nguyen’s method of entry into the houses was as ordinary as you can get. He apparently tried doors and windows until he found ones that were unlocked.

“A lot of the time, thieves will just go door to door until they find one that’s unlocked,” said Early. She also said it also helps to be aware of your surroundings, what goes on in your neighborhood so you will be able to recognize when something is out of the ordinary when it happens.

“In this case we did have an eyewitness that gave a physical description. Without that, we wouldn’t be here,” Early said.

“Lock your doors,” Roberts said. “We know this is a safe community, and we try to keep it as safe as we can, but then there’s the occasional person that looks for unlocked doors.” Roberts said it also helps to write down serial numbers on a separate piece of paper and keep it in a safe location.

Det. Sgt. Oliver Morris, the lead detective on the case, offered further advice.

“If you have a $500 gun, it doesn’t make sense not to then invest in a $200 safe,” Morris said, who also recommended bolting that safe to the ground or wall so thieves could not easily make off with it. “We encourage people to keep their valuables and guns in safes that can be mounted to the wall or the floor so they can’t be easily moved or taken.”

Police Chief Wayne Torpy said the victims should be getting their things back soon.

“I’m pleased that our officers were able to catch the person responsible and recover the stolen property,” Torpy said. “Soon, we should be able to return that property to the rightful owners.”