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Public Safety

  • Winter Weather Advisory until 11 p.m. Sunday

    The National Weather Service in Albuquerque has issued the following statement:

    A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 PM MST THIS EVENING.

    * SNOW ACCUMULATIONS... ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES EXPECTED ACROSS THE NORTH CENTRAL MOUNTAINS... UPPER RIO GRANDE VALLEY... AND SANTA FE METRO AREA WITH LIGHTER AMOUNTS ACROSS THE NORTHWEST MOUNTAINS AND NORTHEAST PLAINS.

    * TIMING... SNOWFALL WILL DECREASE IN INTENSITY THIS EVENING WITH ACCUMULATIONS ENDING BY LATE EVENING.

    * WINDS... NORTH AND NORTHWEST AT 10 TO 15 MPH WITH OCCASIONALLY HIGHER GUSTS.

    * SNOW LEVELS... TEMPERATURES WILL BE COLD ENOUGH FOR SNOW AT ALL LOCATIONS.

    * LOCAL IMPACTS... EXPECT SNOW PACKED AND ICY ROADS... ESPECIALLY THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS. VISIBILITY WILL DROP BELOW 1 MILE AT TIMES DURING PERIODS OF HEAVIER SNOW.

    PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

    A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL PRIMARILY CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES.

    More Information

    ... A WAVE OF SNOW WILL CONTINUE TO TRACK SOUTHEASTWARD THROUGH THE AREA THIS EVENING...

  • Police seek suspects in $20K coin heist

    Police are currently looking for two suspects in connection to a Los Alamos man’s missing gold coin collection.

    The coins are reportedly valued at more than $20,000, according to the owner of the collection.

    The owner told police he suspects his sister-in-law and her male companion may have taken them when they stayed at his house without his knowledge on May 8.

    According to the collection’s owner, who was identified only as a 57-year-old male living in the 500 block of Camino Cereza, the couple was staying at his house without his knowledge, and when he drove up to his house that day, the couple had a U-Haul out front and soon left without saying goodbye.

    Police are currently trying to contact the couple, who live in Austin, according to the police report.

    So far though, the police have not tracked down the 18 gold coins that are missing, even though the owner has turned over the serial numbers to police.

    “We are following up on a couple of leads, and we’re also trying to determine where the coins have gone at this point,” Los Alamos Police Department Acting Chief Randy Foster said.

  • Grieving Family Receives Shock on 'The Rock'

    It’s been just a little more than two weeks since an auto accident on N.M. 4 claimed the life of high school freshman Nikolas Ventura-Arencon.

    Friends and relatives of the young man received a bit of a shock recently when they drove by “The Rock” in White Rock.

    A message they wrote on the rock to their departed friend was gone. In place of the big “Goodbye Nik” message on the rock’s front face, was an even bigger “Marty makes 40 look sporty.”

    Also gone were the flowers and other items that friends and family brought to Nik’s makeshift memorial. It’s not clear whether whoever painted over it moved everything to the site of the accident on N.M. 4, but the red booster chair that was part of the memorial at the rock, has been moved to the roadside tribute.

    A passerby who saw the memorial wasn’t surprised.

    “That’s just the nature of the rock,” the passersby said. “It gets painted over all the time.”

    Ventura’s uncle Bernie Herrera, had a different take. He said his sister-in-law, Jennifer Ventura-Trujillo, (Ventura’s mom) is devastated that someone would do that so soon, and that the entire family is really hurt.

  • Much colder weather, maybe some snow this weekend

    This is a special statement from the National Weather Service:

    SHARP TRANSITION TO WINTER COMING FOR THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT...

    THE PROLONGED STRETCH OF UNSEASONABLY WARM WEATHER WILL COME TO A JARRING DEMISE THIS WEEKEND. TEMPERATURES WILL EASE DOWNWARD SLIGHTLY IN MORE LOCALES THAN NOT TODAY AND SATURDAY... BUT TEMPERATURES WILL REALLY CRASH SUNDAY AS A STORM SYSTEM AND ITS ASSOCIATED ARCTIC COLD FRONT BARRELS THROUGH THE STATE.

    HIGH TEMPERATURES ON SUNDAY WILL BE BETWEEN 20 AND 25 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL ACROSS PORTIONS OF COLFAX AND UNION COUNTIES... A RADICAL CHANGE FROM THE RECENT WARM WEATHER. IN FACT... SOME AREAS OF THE NORTHERN MOUNTAINS TO THE FAR NORTHEAST PLAINS WILL STAY BELOW FREEZING SUNDAY AFTERNOON. SUNDAY NIGHT WILL BE THE COLDEST SO FAR THIS SEASON... WITH MANY LOCATIONS ACROSS NORTHERN AND WEST CENTRAL NEW MEXICO BETWEEN 5 BELOW AND 5 ABOVE ZERO. STRONG NORTHERLY WINDS BEHIND THE FRONT WILL ALSO CREATE BITTERLY COLD WIND CHILL VALUES LATER SUNDAY AND SUNDAY NIGHT.

  • LAPD adds two new officers to roster

    The Los Alamos County Police Department recently added two new officers to its force, one of which was valedictorian of the graduating class.

    After ceremonies at the Santa Fe Police Academy last Thursday, officers James Keane and Adele Girmendonk were sworn in as LAPD’s newest officers Friday and began their 13-week, on-the-job training over the weekend, patrolling the streets of Los Alamos with their trainers/partners.

    “I’m having a great time taking everything I learned at the academy and applying it here in the streets,” Girmendonk said. “It’s been a very good experience.”

    Girmendonk added that a lot of the credit goes to her field-training officer.

    “I’ve really enjoyed working with my FTO, he’s been super and really knowledgeable and that really helps,” she said.

    Girmendonk decided to go into police work out of a genuine desire to serve her community and to somehow apply her experience in disaster management to her current job.

    “I feel like I had a lot to be grateful for in my life,” she said. “I just wanted to give back to my community and to feel like I’m helping society in some way.”

    Keane was in the same graduating class with Girmendonk and said he feels the same way.

  • Would-be shoplifter doesn't get too far

    Artists may seem like peace-loving folk, but as one Los Alamos resident found out the hard way, if you steal from them, they will hunt you down as relentlessly as the toughest bounty hunter.

    That seemed to be what happened Nov. 28 when alleged shoplifter, Melissa Carpenter, decided to help herself to items on display at the Fuller Lodge Art Center. She made off with numerous pieces, according to a Los Alamos Police Department report.

    Taken were a denim bag, a decorated rock, a dog necklace and agate turquoise necklaces, mosaic turquoise earrings, a lapis sterling ring, turquoise sterling ring, turquoise butterfly earrings, epoxy earrings, fingerless gloves designed for texting, a ring box, a ring dish, a small plate, two purses, a scarf and a turquoise money clip. The items were all worth about $969.03 with tax, according to the police report.

    Among the purloined items were some that an art show volunteer, Deborah Stone-Richard, created herself. When she observed Carpenter acting strangely and then noticed that there were many items missing after she left, she notified police and then went looking for Carpenter herself.

  • Slip Sliding Away

    Riki Bayers, 19, (back to camera) hugs her friend Rachael Hayward, 18.
    Hayward said she was driving up N.M. 502 West toward Los Alamos, when the transmission and the brakes in her Dodge Caravan minivan simultaneously failed, leaving the distraught teen rolling backwards down the Main Hill. She said there was no choice but to use the canyon wall to stop her descent.

  • Police chief on medical leave

    Due to an unexpected medical condition, Los Alamos Police Chief Wayne Torpy recently notified his staff that he will be out on an extended medical leave.

    Torpy said he expects to make a full recovery, but doesn’t have a specific timeline.

    “I’ve seen better days, but I expect to make a full recovery. Soon it will be full speed ahead again,” said they 54-year-old Torpy, who is recovering in an area hospital with his family by his side. “I’m still in limbo as to what the next steps are though. It’s going to be a while.”

    Torpy has led the department since 2005 after having served as deputy chief of the Melbourne Police Department in Florida.

  • Trio busted for break-ins

    According to Los Alamos Police Department Deputy Chief Randy Foster, Albuquerque Police have made a break in a rash of car break-ins that occurred in Los Alamos throughout November. Foster saidLAPD detectives were in Albuquerque Monday afternoon to interview the suspects.

    Arrested was Skylar B. Smith, 20, of Rio Rancho and a prior Los Alamos resident. He was arrested on a Los Alamos warrant for burglary and theft of credit cards.  This comes after a lengthy investigation where Los Alamos detectives served a search warrant on a house in Placitas working with the Sandoval County Sheriff’s office last week.

    During the execution of that search warrant, Sandoval County Sheriff’s Department arrested Coady Richards, 32, of Placitas, on the following charges: two counts of receiving stolen property and possession of marijuana.

    Albuquerque police, meanwhile, arrested Evan Smith on stolen vehicle and stolen firearms charges, according to Los Alamos police.

    A series of break-ins occurred within a three-block area of Oppenheimer Drive Nov. 20 and another rash of Nov. 15 break-ins occurred in the area of Camino Medio. The thieves’ usual method would be to hit a number of cars within an hour on a particular block, then fade away for a week or two. As many as five vehicles would sometimes be hit.

  • Police Beat 12-04-12

    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.
    Nov. 23

    (No time given) A 16-year-old Los Alamos teen was released to his parents by police after getting into a fight with a 12-year-old in the 100 Block of Santolina.

    1:56 p.m. — Joshua Krepps, 20 of Los Alamos was arrested on a charge of criminal trespass at Smith’s Food and Drug.

    Police received six calls of car-breakins between 7:10 p.m. and 10 p.m. Locations included the 500 block of Oppenheimer Drive, 5000 block of Eaton Place, 900 block of Tewa Loop, 900 block of Otowi Place, 100 block of Timber Ridge Road and the 5000 block of Carriage House Road.

    11:43 p.m. — Brock Koehler, 24, of Los Alamos was arrested on a charge of driving while under the influence of  alcohol and/or drugs, possession of marijuana (less than one ounce), and possession of drug paraphernalia in the 100 block of Longview Drive.