By John Larson
Criminal complaints were filed in Socorro Magistrate Court on five people Monday on shoplifting and burglary charges in connection with an incident on Dec. 3.
Socorro police Det. Rocky Fernandez said the suspects – Elisa Montano, 23, of Socorro; Gavin Eads, 24, of Belen; Charmayne Lopez, 20, of Belen; Antoinette Martinez, 27, of Belen; and Dillon O'Brien, 24, of Los Lunas – were operating as a shoplifting team.
“This wasn’t your everyday shoplifting situation,” Fernandez said. “They left the business with two plastic bins full of merchandise, mostly children’s clothes and some other small items.”
He said the incident was similar to a shoplifting that occurred at Walmart on Sept. 21.
Antoinette Martinez and Charmayne Lopez were arraigned Monday, Dec. 6 on burglary and trespassing charges. Dillon O’Brien was arraigned Monday on shoplifting charges and possession of drug paraphernalia. Gavin Eads was also arraigned Monday on one shoplifting charge, and a criminal complaint on Montano was filed on shoplifting and criminal trespassing charges.
The total amount stolen was $633.05, said police Sgt. Richard Lopez.
Fernandez said shoplifting rings are becoming more numerous, not only in Socorro, but nationwide. “When the economy is bad, you’ll see people being recruited by ‘kingpins’ to do the shoplifting,” he said.
Fernandez said stolen items are also sold on the internet, using e-Bay, Craigslist, or any one of dozens of online sites.
“Does anyone ask why a DVD movie costs only a couple of dollars?” he said. “It’s not out of the question to think they are bootlegged movies.”