DEL NORTE— According to reports from Del Norte Police Chief Bobbi Fresquez, an armed robbery occurred at Golden Fleece Antiques, located at 570 Grande Avenue, at approximately 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19.
Fresquez explained that Officer Mike Ruybal and Sgt. Frank Archuleta were responding to an alarm at the Rio Grande Pharmacy, just a few blocks away when the call came in for an armed robbery. “Officer Ruybal and Sgt. Archuleta were waiting for the owners of the pharmacy to arrive in order to check the premises when the other call came through. They were only a few blocks away when it happened and responded immediately,” said Fresquez.
Fresquez continued, explaining that the owner of the Golden Fleece was working in his office and had left the side door to the store open, even though the business was closed for the day. According to reports, Mark Allison, owner of the Golden Fleece, had stayed late to finish paperwork when the suspect entered through the open side door and went straight to the register. “There was no money in the register, so he made his way back to the office where Mark was working,” said Fresquez.
“The suspect entered the office and brandished a silver colored revolver and demanded that Mark give him money. Mark explained that there was no money in the store at that time and moved closer to the suspect. Once he was close enough, Mark grabbed the suspect and tried to get the gun away from him. The suspect then pistol whipped him several times in the head and tried to get away. Mark followed him to the side door and was able to push him through the door and down the stairs. The fight continued out into the alley, when Mark finally gave the suspect his wallet and the man ran off,” said Fresquez.
It was only after the confrontation with the suspect that the owner was able to get to the phone and report the robbery. When officer Ruybal and Sgt. Archuleta arrived on the scene, they were able to follow the tracks of the suspect in the snow from the store, north to 5th Street. “My guys were able to get a few pictures of the tracks, but because of the wind and snow, they disappeared quickly. When they reached 5th Street, they saw a car speeding away and were able to follow it to a location, but were not able to contact anyone,” finished Fresquez.
Allison was transported to the Rio Grande Hospital with several contusions to his head, but thankfully was released within a few hours. “We need the public to contact us with any leads, whether they seem small or not,” said Fresquez.
In addition to the armed robbery, another burglary occurred Friday night at a residence on 5th Street and Columbia. The suspect entered the empty home through a window in the back and made away with an undisclosed number of belongings. “One thing they didn’t know, is that they were caught on camera,” said Fresquez. “We think the two incidences could potentially be related, but one thing we know for certain is that these people are getting desperate. I am imploring the community to please lock all doors and windows, vehicles and outdoor equipment,” said Fresquez.
For anyone with any information on either incident, please contact the Del Norte Police Department at 657-2600.