Public Safety

  • Suspicious card activity reported

    Los Alamos residents may have noticed some unwarranted charges or strange activity on their credit cards this month. Those residents are not alone.
    According to the Los Alamos Police Department, many local residents have experienced similar issues. Police are currently investigating a slew of complaints from residents about unwarranted charges, and they want to hear from anyone else that has seen suspicious card activity.
    LAPD said if a card had been declined, it might be a good idea to check email before calling the issuing company about it.
    One Los Alamos resident received a rude awakening recently when she tried to pay for a meal at a restaurant and her card was declined.
    A day later, she received an email from her company telling her that her card had been compromised.
    “This charge was not authorized so they cancelled my card and they are sending me a new card,” said the resident, who asked not to be identified. “I talked to the police and they are investigating it because many people in this town are having the same issue.”
    Those with suspicions about card activity can call LAPD Commander Oliver Morris at 662-8281. The department, according to a press release on the matter, is mainly focusing on credit cards, since this is where all of the fraud has occurred so far.

  • Restaurant inspections 3-26-15


    Wendy’s, 160 N. Riverside Dr.
    Date Inspected: Feb. 3
    Violations: Two moderate-risk violations. Food contact surfaces need cleaning. Ventilation/grills above sink/ ware holding area need thorough cleaning. One low-risk violation. All staff in food prep area are  required to wear hair restraints.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    McDonalds, 618 N. Riverside Dr.
    Date Inspected: Feb. 12
    Violations: Two moderate-risk violations. Hood/ vent system needs cleaning. Ceilings needs ceiling tiles replaced. Two low-risk violations. Floors have broken tiles. Staff not wearing hair restraints.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.
    Santa Fe

    Panda Express, 500 North Guadalupe St.
    Date Inspected: Feb. 3
    Violations: One moderate-risk violation. Ceiling of walk in refrigerator has rust build up.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Taqueria La Hacienda, 1622 St. Michael’s Dr.
    Date Inspected: Feb. 4
    Violations: One high-risk violation. Hand sink was used to store the bleach sanitizer solution. One moderate-risk violation. Chlorine test strips are not available.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

  • Volunteers can help with mitigation

    “Wildfire 2015,” the event the county hosts every year to educate residents about the dangers of wildfire and how they can prepare themselves for the upcoming wildfire season, may have a few surprises this year.
    One of those surprises may be about where the next wildfire may start up and, according to the Los Alamos Fire Department, residents need to look no further than their own backyards.
    That’s because while the county’s Interagency Wildfire Management Team, which includes the Los Alamos Fire Department, has been keeping a close eye on identifying and mitigating fire hazards in the open areas through controlled burns and cleanups, there is one area that the LAFD hasn’t been able to go, and that’s residential areas. Over the years, due to neglect or residents just not being aware of the danger, these areas have slowly risen to the top of the priority list.
    The department has received some requests from residents, especially those who cannot physically help with debris removal, even though they know there’s a problem. However, the fire department simply is not allowed by law to carry out clean-ups on residential property.

  • Drug suspect is charged again

    A Los Alamos woman who was arrested in January on drug charges was arrested again last week for alleged possession of an illegal substance.
    According to court records, Sarah Orr, 21 had an appointment with her probation officer. During the visit, the probation officer asked her to empty her pockets.
    Orr complied, but during a search of the contents of her pocket, the probation officer found a large orange pill tucked into the clear plastic wrapper of in Orr’s cigarette pack.
    The pill turned out to be hydrocodone, an opioid pain medication.
    Orr told the officer the pill “belonged to her brother” and she knew she wasn’t supposed to be carrying it with her. She was arrested anyway and charged with a misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and taken into custody.
    As of this morning, Orr was still in custody because she violated her conditions of release for prior awaiting hearings in district court for two other offenses, which include four counts of distribution of a controlled substance and one count of bribery of a witness (threats, false testimony).
    The alleged distribution of a controlled substance charges stem from Jan. 15 arrest.
    According to court records, police received a tip that Orr was allegedly dealing drugs, so they set up a surveillance operation.

  • Police Beat 3-13-15

    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.

    March 5
    8:59 a.m. — Amy Justice, 43, of Los Alamos was arrested on a misdemeanor warrant from another jurisdiction at Trinity Drive.

    11:51 a.m. — Krysti Hernandez, 44, of Los Alamos was arrested on a magistrate court bench warrant at the Los Alamos police station. The original charge was fraud (more than $100, less than $250) on Feb. 23.

    March 6
    9:14 a.m. — A 14-year-old Los Alamos youth was arrested for shoplifting on San Ildefonso Road.

    March 7
    8:50 a.m. — Donita Gallegos, 21, of Pecos was arrested for marijuana possession at Diamond Drive and North Road.

    March 8
    11:04 p.m. — Christopher Porter, 33, of Jemez Springs was arrested for battery at 38th Street and Villa Street.

    March 9
    9:30 a.m. — A 16-year-old Los Alamos youth was arrested for bringing a deadly weapon to Los Alamos High School.

  • Property crimes were up in 2014

    The Los Alamos Police Department released its yearly crime statistics report recently, the second report since Chief Dino Sgambellone officially became police chief in December 2013.
    Throughout 2014, the police department released quarterly crime statistic reports, each one divided into “Violent Crimes” and “Property Crimes” and their related subcategories.
    Under Violent Crimes, the subcategories include homicide, manslaughter, rape, aggravated robbery and aggravated assault.
    The subcategories of property crimes included burglary, larceny, auto theft and arson.
    According to the latest report, compared to 2013, violent crime went down significantly in 2014. In 2013, there were six rapes, one robbery and 38 assaults. In 2014, there were four rapes, one robbery and 23 assaults. According to the report, that was a 37 percent decrease compared to 2013.
    Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone attributed this drop to his department’s proactive approach, as well as the way data is collected and organized.

  • Restaurant inspections 3-5-15

    Santa Fe
    Mission Viejo Christian Academy, 4601 Mission Bend
    Date Inspected: Jan. 8
    Violations: Two high-risk violations. Employee eating in prep area. No to low sanitizer in dish washing machine. One moderate-risk violation. No test kit for sanitizer.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. Follow up required in one week.

    Santa Fe Brewing Company, 35 Fire Place
    Date Inspected: Jan. 8
    Violations: One high-risk violation. Employee needs training on iodine sanitizer as concentration was at five times the strength.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    San Marcos Café, 3877 Highway 14
    Date Inspected: Jan. 8
    Violations: Three high-risk violations. Raw beef stored over cooked food. Half of food items have labels. Ice scoop stored in bin, hand is in contact with the ice. All violations corrected. Three moderate-risk violations. Wood handles are degraded, area around hood shall be made smooth. Vent hood area has grease build up. Signs of old pest activity in restrooms and water heater area. Three low-risk violations. Restroom door opens into prep area. Employees should have a hair restraint. Single-serve items and utensils stored in restroom.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

  • LAPD crime statistics released

    Here are Los Alamos County's crime statistics for 2014, as reported to the media Friday:


    0 instances





    2 instances



    Motor vehicle theft



    241 instances




  • Accused dealer caught on video

    Just before they were arrested, one of the drug dealers nabbed in a high-profile Los Alamos drug bust complained about a customer never buying enough drugs from them and not being very sociable.
    Los Alamos Police Department has been busy making sweeps of the county, busting drug dealers in a coordinated effort in recent weeks and numerous arrests have been made via its efforts.
    Among the recent busts was Kelly Casados, who police said they captured on surveillance video.
    “(Casados) is also heard on the video making statements about trafficking methamphetamine. She seems upset that (customer) ‘buys s--- from us’ then leaves right after, wanting (customer) to hang out for a while afterwards,” read a statement in court records.
    Shortly after that drug deal, police said, Casados, 46, boyfriend Ron Snow, 40, and the dealer that supplied them with the drugs to sell, Joe Martinez, 50, were arrested in late January.
    Snow’s and Martinez’s attorneys, along with their clients, are due to appear in court April 1 for a preliminary hearing. The hearing will be to determine if there is enough evidence to have their cases continued in first district court.
    Casados’ case is already going to district court.

  • Sheriff: driver was drunk, texting

    A 27-year-old Los Alamos woman received extensive injuries Monday at around 11 p.m. when she allegedly crashed her car going westbound on N.M. 502, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department.
    According to an eyewitness, Andrea Rivera, who was allegedly the driver of a 1993 Gold Saturn four-door sedan, almost veered off the road to the right. Rivera then overcompensated, careening to the left, eastbound lane of the road into oncoming traffic before the car started to roll. The car wound up wedged against a piñon tree off near the shoulder of the road.
    Sometime during the crash, Rivera was ejected from the vehicle, and was found a short distance from her car, on her back and still alive. She allegedly told officers she had been drinking alcohol and texting moments before the crash.
    In her car, police allegedly discovered a half-empty bottle of “Prestige” brand whiskey.
    Her car did not come into contact with any other vehicles and she had no other passengers in her car. According to the sheriff’s office, she was the only one injured in the crash.
    Rivera’s injuries consisted of two broken ribs and heavy bruising about the upper left portion of her neck and head.
    She was conscious when police arrived, though her speech was heavily slurred.