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Public Safety

  • LAPD takes aim at domestic violence

     The Los Alamos Police Department will soon be taking a new, proactive tact with domestic violence, all in an effort to reach people before they become victims of domestic violence.
    According to LAPD Officer Adele Girmendonk, while her department is quite good at providing resources and numbers at the scene of an incident, she and her fellow officers are often the first contact domestic violence victims have with any type of help. Girmendonk said the department hopes to change that, hopefully through an awareness campaign starting this October (October is domestic violence awareness month).
    The campaign will include notifications on the department’s web site at losalamosnm.us/police and other events throughout the year. Readers may have already noticed police officers at Saturday’s Health Fair at the Los Alamos High School, where they handed out resources and contact information to attendees.
    The department was also working with the Los Alamos Teen Center. Recently, the teens were featured in the Los Alamos Monitor creating domestic violence prevention posters for the health fair.
    LAPD Chief Dino Sgambellone praised Girmendonk for her efforts to help the department become more proactive when it comes to domestic violence.

  • LA woman charged with embezzlement

    According to the management of Zia Credit Union, a recent examination of the company’s financials revealed something just wasn’t quite right.
    In August, their worst fears were confirmed when an employee, Ashley S. Maestas, 22, allegedly confessed to stealing about $24,000 (which may include interest) from the company. Maestas was fired shortly after her interview with management about the matter.
    According to court documents, Maestas was able to steal the money by increasing a $500 credit limit on one of her accounts herself, an employee violation she knew was in violation of the credit union’s security policy.
    In order to override the security controls that would have prevented such an act, she made the transactions through another employee’s computer. According to surveillance video obtained by police, when a fellow employee would leave her workstation, Maestas would use the employee’s computer in her absence without her knowledge. She would then transfer the funds to her checking and savings accounts.
    According to the credit union’s estimates, Maestas allegedly embezzled about $23,545 (not including interest) from the credit union. An audit of all of Maestas’ accounts revealed that only $1,735.95 in Maestas’ checking and savings accounts.

  • Police Beat 09-19-14

    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.
    Sept. 4

    4:37 p.m. — Police reported that a 41-year-old Los Alamos woman was the victim of animal bites where the animal was impounded at Estates Drive.

    4:56 p.m. — Police reported that a 25-year-old Los Alamos man was the victim of a car accident with no injuries at Trinity Drive.

    6:28 p.m. — Police reported that an 11-year-old Los Alamos boy was the victim of animal bites where the animal was impounded. The incident happened at Big Rock Loop.

    8:11 p.m. — A 17-year-old Los Alamos woman reported that she was the victim of a car burglary at 43rd Street.

    9:02 p.m. — Lisa Wilkinson, 41 of Los Alamos was arrested for battery against a household member on Ensenada Drive.
    Sept. 5

    7:29 a.m. — A 39-year-old Los Alamos man reported that he was the victim of a petty larceny (less than $100) at Gold Street.

  • Roundabout crash injures one

    One person was injured Monday morning in an accident at the San Ildefonso Road roundabout. According to police, the accident was caused by a driver entering the roundabout in a silver Honda SUV. According to police, the driver apparently failed to yield to a driver in a black subcompact sedan, which was already in the intersection. That driver was taken to the Los Alamos Medical Center complaining of neck pain.

  • Police Beat 09-09-14

    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, served a court summons, or issued a citation.
    Aug. 28

    7:16 a.m. — A 24-year-old Los Alamos woman reported to police she was the victim of a burglary at 39th Street.

    7:52 a.m. — Police reported that a a 51-year-old Los Alamos woman was the victim of a car accident on Arkansas Avenue.

    8:52 a.m. — Candida Borrego was arrested through a misdemeanor warrant from another jurisdiction at the intersection of Diamond Drive and North Road.

    8:31 a.m. — Police reported that a 73-year-old Los Alamos man was a victim in an accident with injury at the intersection of Casa Grande Drive and West Jemez Road.

    9:35 a.m. — James Jaramillo, 29, of Albuquerque was arrested on charge of unlawful use of a license at intersection of 37th Street and Villa Street.

    11 a.m. — Marian Loope, 31, of Los Alamos was arrested for battery upon a police officer at the Los Alamos police station.
    Aug. 29

  • Sheriff's office looking closely at accident victim's claims

    The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office investigation into a recent accident on N.M. 502 has intensified, due to discrepancies found in one of the victim’s descriptions on how the accident happened.
    Around 3:15 p.m. on Aug. 25, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Alamos fire and police departments responded to an accident on N.M. 502 just west of Anderson Overlook. When they arrived they found a late model, maroon Nissan Sentra at the bottom of a ravine on the westbound side. There is no guardrail in that section of N.M. 502.
    Though one of the victims, Zachary Sanchez, 30, said his girlfriend, Andrea Harvier, 31, was driving, the sheriff’s office took out search warrants to further investigate the accident .
    Sheriff’s office personnel said before being transported to the hospital, Sanchez was saying he was the passenger.
    However, as personnel examined the accident scene further, they determined it was Sanchez who was the driver, not Harvier.
    “...it was determined based on several factors that the driver of the vehicle was Zachary Sanchez and not Andrea Harvier as initially reported,” said a statement in one of the sheriff’s warrants.

  • Porter faces new charge

    Steven Porter, the White Rock resident who is facing 20 drug charges including 13 felonies, may not be out of jail for a while.
    While out on bail for those charges, (He successfully posted 10 percent of his $102,000 bond) He allegedly took off his GPS monitoring device, according to police.
    Court Parole Officer Linda Pena noted in a probable cause statement that she noticed “abrasions, bruising and scrapes on Mr. Porter’s ankle and foot where his electronic monitoring device was placed. She also noted that the hair on Porter’s ankle was nearly gone, a telltale sign that the device had been tampered with, according to her.
    Upon discovery, Porter was promptly rearrested and brought back into custody. Porter went to magistrate court for another hearing before judge Pat Casados to face the new felony charge.
    Pena also noted in the report that there was a “substantial amount of time“ between Friday, Aug. 22 and the Saturday, Aug. 23 that the device showed no movement.
    “Which means, during that 20-hour period of time, Mr. Porter was either motionless, or he was not wearing the device,” said police in the probable cause statement.
    Porter’s lawyer, Elden Pennington, tried to argue that the particular GPS device monitoring Porter’s movements was unreliable.

  • Sheriff IDs victims in Main Hill crash

    The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office has released the names of the people involved in Monday’s single-vehicle crash on N.M. 502.
    The man that was driving the car that plunged into Pueblo Canyon Monday is Zachary Sanchez, 30, of Los Alamos. His passenger was Española resident Andrea Harvier, 31.
    According to Major Ken Johnson, spokesperson for the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office, Sanchez’ 2004 maroon Nissan Sentra was parked near the Anderson Overlook around Mile Post 4 at 3:14 p.m. when it suddenly accelerated for about 100 feet before plummeting 200 feet into the canyon.
    When rescue officials arrived at the base of the cliff, they found Sanchez outside the car, dazed and walking around. Harvier was found lying on the ground a short distance from the car.
    Though they know for sure that Harvier was ejected from the vehicle, they aren’t sure about Sanchez. It also was not known if they were wearing seatbelts.
    According to the Sheriff’s Department, Sanchez is currently in stable condition, and Harvier is still listed as critical. Sanchez was airlifted separately to CHRISTUS St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe and Harvier was airlifted to UNM Hospital in Albuquerque.

  • Cone Zone 08-24-14

     Pavement Preservation Work in White Rock:
    As part of the pavement preservation effort, chip seal operations are underway on several streets in White Rock. Streets that will be chip sealed include Hamlin Court, Pruitt, Paige Loop and Paige Court. Residents on the affected streets have been notified and will receive 48-hour notice before construction begins on their street. During this work, residential access as well as delivery and emergency access will be maintained. Traffic control will include lane closures, flagging operations, and short term delays. Expect loose chips (small gravel) on these streets when work is occurring.
    Central Avenue Improvements Project:
    The contractor is reporting that pedestrians are crossing into the work zone instead of at the provided crossings; this is extremely dangerous and pedestrians are advised to use the provided pathways.
    Central Avenue continues to be fully closed between 15th Street and the Post Office driveway. Access to the Post Office will be maintained. Vehicles will be detoured to Deacon Street and the Main Street driveway into Central Park Square is also closed.

  • Twenty drug charges filed against White Rock man

    Steven Porter, a 46-year-old White Rock man who is facing 20 charges involving controlled substances — 13 felonies and seven misdemeanors — made his first court appearance before Magistrate Judge Pat Casados Tuesday.

    Porter, who was arrested last weekend, was held on a $102,000 bond.
    Bond was posted Tuesday and Porter was released from the Los Alamos Detention Center at 9 a.m. Wednesday, according to magistrate court clerk John Baca.

    Porter’s next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 2.
    Baca said Wednesday that Porter did not yet have a lawyer.
    Police seized the drugs in Porter’s home after obtaining a search warrant to look for evidence to connect Porter to a rash of damage to property incidents. Police subsequently amended the search warrant to seize the controlled substances after they were found on Porter’s property.
    This all started apparently in 2012.
    According to the statement of probable cause, the Pajarito Acres Homeowners Association obtained a final judgment order from the First Judicial Court to have Porter tear down a structure, which was a covered patio, that he had built on his property located within Pajarito Acres in the 200 block of Rio Bravo. The court ruled that the patio was against the association’s bylaws.