By Lyndsie Ferrell
DEL NORTE— During the Del Norte Town Board meeting held on May 9, Town Attorney Gene Farish swore in Annette Archuleta, Bob Muncy and Laura Anzalone after working through the consent agenda.
Before the swearing-in ceremony took place, Mayor Chris Trullio presented out-going Trustee Mark Ulrich with a plaque and thanked him for his years of service to the town. Ulrich has served on the board for the past 20 years and thanked the town for the opportunity to be a part of the changes that have occurred through his years’ of service.
Farish then asked the three entering trustees to repeat the oath of office and congratulated them on their new terms of service. Once the trustees had taken their seats, Mayor Trujillo began the regular meeting with a report from Police Chief Robert Fresquez. Fresquez began by stating that the department has been very busy over the last month trying to track down the source of recent burglaries that seem to be plaguing the town.
“Within the last week, the department has had four more burglaries reported, and we are still looking for the suspect,” said Fresquez. He continued, explaining that the department believes that there is more than one suspect involved and that they are pursuing several tips about who the individuals are. Currently the department is looking for Cruz Villa in connection with several robberies in the area and are asking the community for help in capturing him.
Mayor Trujillo spoke up and asked if there is a way to let the community know that vigilante justice is illegal, stating that several community members have expressed their desire to take care of the problem on their own. Fresquez answered the question by stating that the department is trying to defuse the problem as quickly as possible and that anytime they are in contact with someone who feels they should take the law into their own hands, try to convince them otherwise.
“I know that several residents are putting up surveillance cameras on their properties that are capturing footage around the clock. These guys are grabbing things like chainsaws and tools and have someone who is turning a profit from it immediately. We need people out there keeping an eye on things while we do our part in trying to capture the culprits,” said Fresquez.
Over the last few months, the car wash has been broken into and the suspect was caught on camera. There has been several robberies totaling over $5,000 in missing items and two additional burglaries at residences. Fresquez finished his report stating that the department does have several cases going to trial, including the suspect from the Del Norte Bank robbery that happened in December last year.
Several residents have expressed their opinion that the department could be doing more to apprehend the individuals that are responsible for the recent rise in thefts and Fresquez stated that his department is doing everything they can to make that happen. Fresquez ended with a plea that the local community come and participate in the monthly Neighborhood Watch meetings that take place on the third Tuesday of every month at the county annex building.
Editor’s note: According to reports from Chief Robert Fresquez, Villa was apprehended in Monte Vista Tuesday morning by local law enforcement. Now that Villa is in custody, Fresquez and a team of local law enforcement will pursue pending charges related to thefts throughout the region and interrogate Villa on possible other leads that may result in further arrests. More information on the investigation will be reported as they come available.