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Public Safety

  • County placed under Stage 1 fire restrictions

    The Los Alamos County announced Friday that it is under Stage I Fire Restrictions.
    The following acts are prohibited until further notice:
    • Building, maintaining, attending or using an open fire, campfire, charcoal or wood stove on all Los Alamos County lands. (See Exemption 1)
    • Smoking is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 3-feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
    Stage I Exemptions:
    • Developed campgrounds with metal grills using charcoal or propane are acceptable on North Mesa campgrounds, Camp May, Overlook Park and at any park within the Los Alamos County proper, to also include all residential property within Los Alamos County. The Los Alamos County Fire Department urges the public to take every precaution necessary on all properties to prevent a fire.
    • Persons with a written permit from the State Foresty Office (505-476-3353) that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.
    • Persons using a device solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device.

  • Police not saying if Española teen was armed

    ESPANOLA (AP) — New Mexico State Police are not confirming whether a teenager was armed when he was fatally shot by an Española police officer.
    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that state police spokesman Damyan Brown refused to comment on whether 16-year-old Victor Villalpando had a gun during Sunday’s shooting.
    Authorities say two Española officers responded to a report of a suspicious person in a parking lot behind a shopping center and then made contact with Villalpando.

  • Alleged car burglar faces more charges

     The Los Alamos Police Department charged Skylar B. Smith, 22, from Santa Fe, wth 38 separate counts relating to 18 auto burglaries that occurred in May of 2014.
    Smith has been in the Los Alamos Detention Center since May 27 stemming from a probation violation.
    Los Alamos Police Detectives have been actively investigating the auto burglaries from May and now Smith, a former Los Alamos resident, is being charged with two counts of theft of credit card, 20 counts of burglary of a motor vehicle, and 16 counts of larceny.
    According to Cpl. Preston Ballew, LAPD’s public information officer, Smith’s spree is related to the recent rash of car break-ins that have occurred in Los Alamos recently, many on Barranca Mesa. He also gave credit to the detectives who cracked the case.
    “Detective Sgt (Oliver) Morris and his staff did an outstanding job of diligently working the case and putting a guy we think is responsible for these crimes behind bars,” Ballew said.
    According to the criminal complaint, police were able to track down Smith through the credit cards he stole out of the vehicles and matching the surveillance footage with the transactions he made at various stores in Santa Fe and Bernalillo.

  • Police Beat 06-11-14

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department Records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, server a court summons, or issued a citation.
    May 29

    8:07 a.m. ­— A 23-year-old Los Alamos woman reported to police that she was the victim of an accident, no injuries on Airport Road.

    8 a.m. — A 16-year-old Los Alamos teen was arrested on a charge of aggravated driving while intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of .16 or more at the Los Alamos Police station.

    5:52 p.m. — A 23-year-old Los Alamos man reported to police he was the victim of a larceny (less than $250) at San Ildefonso Road.

    7:45 p.m. — A 35-year-old Los Alamos man reported to police he was the victim of a larceny (over $250 less than $500) at Central Avenue.
    May 30

    10:33 a.m. — A 77-year-old Los Alamos woman reported to police she was the victim of a fraudulent use of a credit card to obtain $300 at Central Avenue.

    3:52 p.m. — A 41-year-old Los Alamos woman reported to police she was the victim of a burglary from vehicle at Central Ave.

  • Busy weekend for emergency crews
  • Smith's animal cruelty case resolved

    Jacob Smith, a former Los Alamos restaurateur and former Santa Fe Realtor, pleaded guilty Monday in Santa Fe District Court to two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.
    Smith was picked up in the Austin, Texas area back in February on a district court warrant and eventually was extradited back to New Mexico.
    Smith was given credit for 30 days spent in jail and was ordered to serve two years of probation in Texas, as well as 20 hours of community service and a $500 fine.
    Assistant Santa Fe district attorney Jenna Yanez said, “he essentially pled guilty to the charges and it was the best result we could have hoped for.”
    Smith was represented by public defender Ethan Nissani. Nissani said his client accepted the plea deal and there was not much else he could say about the case.
    In November of 2012, the decomposed bodies of two dogs were taken from Smith’s Santa Fe apartment. Santa Fe police said the two dogs apparently died of starvation and police said there was no food or water that could be reached by the animals.
    After the incident, Smith fled the area and was nowhere to be found.

  • Family of 5-year-old issues statement

     The family of a 5-year-old boy, who nearly drowned in the Barranca Mesa pool Wednesday, released a statement Friday afternoon.

    The family of Joshua Sanchez thanked everyone for all their thoughts and prayers.

    “A special thank you goes out to the rescue staff at Barranca Mesa pool, the Los Alamos Fire and Police Departments, the Santa Fe Police Department, the emergency room staff at Los Alamos Medical Center, the Life Flight crew and paramedics, and everyone at the UNM Pediatric ICU,” the statement read. “The family asks that everyone continue sending prayers and continue to respect the family's privacy. Please understand that our focus as a family of faith is Joshua's recovery.”

    The Santa Fe Police Department, meanwhile, has set up a child-in-need fund at Los Alamos National Bank. The account number is 0163586701  and routing number is 107001012.

    The pool, meanwhile, reopened Friday.

    The boy was airlifted to UNM Children’s Hospital in Albuquerque Wednesday morning.

  • LACDC head charged with DUI, battery

    Scott Randall, the director of the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, was arrested by Los Alamos Police Thursday night on one count of aggravated battery against a household member and driving under the influence.
    According to police reports, police responded to his home at 5275 Quemazon for a domestic disturbance call.
    When they arrived, Randall was no longer at the residence, but his wife was. Police observed a red bruise on her left wrist. The wife proceeded to tell police that she and Randall had been drinking earlier that night at the Buffalo Thunder Resort.
    While there, Randall apparently had a heated email discussion with his daughter about a house purchase.
    When they arrived home, he packed his bag and was getting ready to leave when he had an altercation with his wife, where he allegedly pushed against a wall, causing the wrist injury.
    Police asked her if she had any other injuries, and she replied, “not from tonight.” She also said she didn’t need medical attention.
    Police later contacted Randall and told him to come to the police department for an interview.
    When he arrived, police determined he was found to be intoxicated through field sobriety tests.
    Randall was arrested and spent the night in the Los Alamos Detention Center. He bonded out Friday and posted $2,000 bail.

  • Minor Accident

    A vehicle and motorcycle collided at the intersection of Diamond Drive and Trinity Drive Monday night. There were no reported injuries.

  • Smith's clerk charged in refund scheme

    A Smith’s grocery store worker is under arrest for allegedly operating a refund scheme that bilked customers of the Los Alamos store out of hundreds of dollars.
    In May, the store’s loss prevention department determined that a store clerk, Pamela J. Chacon, 43, had defrauded numerous customers out of hundreds of dollars by claiming unclaimed refunds for herself. Police were called, and Chacon was charged with one felony count of embezzlement.
    “ ... Ms. Chacon had been refunding customer purchases when they did not use their Smith’s card and keeping the money for herself,” police said in the report.
    According to store detectives, Chacon had taken about $554.98 since January by the time they caught on to what was happening. The last known fraudulent transaction was May 18, store personnel said in the report.
    When confronted by store management, Chacon said she did it because she got into some financial problems, according to court documents. She also agreed to pay the money back.
    During an interview with police, she said her financial troubles began when she took out $400 loan to pay for a truck. When it grew to $900 because of interest charges, that’s when she started embezzling from the store, she told police.