Man admits to stealing from Santa Fe tourists


SANTA FE (KRQE) – Police say they’ve caught the armed robber who terrorized tourists in Santa Fe over the past week.

Police made the arrest Saturday afternoon just days after a fourth mugging in the capitol city.

Victims say the man flashed a gun at them demanding money and taking purses.

Santa Fe police say they now know who he is and Andrew Valencia, 47, now sits in jail cell.

SFPD says an officer recognized Valencia from surveillance photos and when he was questioned he confessed to four recent armed robberies in the city including two robberies at two hotels on Cerrillos last Saturday.

At the Courtyard Marriott police say he admitted to stealing a woman’s purse and later, reached into a room at the Double Tree Hotel and took a purse there.

Police say he also admitted to robbing a 17-year-old in front of the Georgia O’Keefe Museum on Monday.

The most recent mugging was on Wednesday where police say Valencia admitted to stealing the purse of a 68-year-old woman.

Although victims believed Valencia had a real gun he was actually using a modified b-b gun made to look like a handgun.

“When you’re affecting business, when you’re affecting the attitude of the city, when you’re taking our streets away from us, we’re not going to stand for that as a department,” SFPD spokesperson Celina Espinoza said.

Officers have not linked Valencia to several recent hotel front-desk hold-ups also down Cerrillos.

They say a man now dubbed the “Skunk Bandit” is responsible for those crimes.

Police are also still looking for the couple seen walking into a Holiday Inn Express and holding-up the clerk.

As for Valencia, he’s facing a slew of charges including armed robbery and aggravated burglary.

SFPD says it’s very familiar with Valencia.

He’s been arrested 33 times since 2001 for everything from burglary to DWI.

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