News Briefs: Serial armed robbery suspect now behind bars

Serial armed robbery suspect now behind bars

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Bernalillo County deputies have arrested a suspected serial armed robber. Gino Garza, 28, is accused of holding up 21 gas stations in Albuquerque in just three weeks. According to the criminal complaint, Garza would hand the clerks a note demanding cash and imply he had a gun. At one point, deputies say he robbed four gas stations in one day. In some cases Garza allegedly stole cartons of cigarettes, e-cigs and cases of lighters. Deputies say Garza also carjacked a woman and stole her SUV.

NMSU to fill in Lottery Scholarship gaps

LAS CRUCES (KRQE) – New Mexico State University has decided to fill the tuition gap that lottery scholarships recipients are facing. The university is absorbing about $129 per student. The state’s higher education department notified colleges and universities in December that the scholarship award will not cover 100 percent of tuition this semester. A result of the program paying out more money than it brings in. The University of New Mexico also announced that it will fill the gap.

Man facing more charges after suspected DWI crash

SANTA FE (KRQE) – Police have upped the charges against a young man accused of driving drunk and nearly killing his friend. Marcos Martinez, 20, rolled his jeep along Highway 599 Monday night critically injuring his 20-year-old passenger shortly after someone spotted him driving recklessly. Martinez was initially charged with aggravated DWI. He’s now charged with causing great bodily harm, reckless driving, speeding and being a minor under the influence.

Bald Eagle to be released back into the wild

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A bald eagle is set to be released back into the wild at Brantley Lake State Park this weekend. “Pecos” was found last year in Artesia. He was suffering from lead poisoning and was unable to fly. He was treated by experts in Carlsbad, Espanola, and most recently has been exercising in a 100-foot flight cage at the Santa Fe Raptor Center. Experts say Brantley Lake State Park is the perfect place to release “Pecos” because there have been other eagle sightings there and there is plenty of food for him.

Man killed in motorcycle crash with UPS truck

ESPANOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – Deadly motorcycle accident involving a UPS truck. It happened Wednesday afternoon on County Road 56 near Espanola. Police say 21-year-old Alejandro Lopez swerved to avoid the truck as it was turning and crashed. Lopez was killed, his sister 15-year-old Antonique Lopez, was on the motorcycle with him and suffered serious injuries. Police say both were wearing helmets. State police haven’t determined who was at fault.

Man arrested for breaking into church

LEA COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – A man is behind bars after deputies say he broke into a Lea County church. Deputies arrived to the Seventh Day Adventist Church Tuesday and found a shattered window. When they searched inside they found 35-year-old Ebenezer Cruz de Garcia along with a damaged bench and profanities and the name of the suspect’s girlfriend written all over. Deputies say De Garcia was drunk. He’s charged with burglary, larceny and desecration of a church.

Police search for Texico dog abuser

TEXICO, N.M. (KRQE) – Authorities want to find whoever is hurting a stray dog. The group Cindy’s Hope for Precious Paws has been feeding and taking care of this dog that has been hanging around the port of entry in Texico. They recently found her hurt and it appears someone kicked or beat her severly injuring her eye. The group is trying to get her medical care and hopefully a new home. If you have any information about who is hurting the dog call police.

Fines at LANL, again

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (KRQE)  – More fines are coming. That’s what the state’s environmental department is telling Los Alamos National Laboratory.

State Environment Secretary, Ryan Flynn, told the Santa Fe New Mexican that they were holding back when they issued the $54.3 million penalty against the lab for last year’s radiation leak at WIPP. It was a barrel packed at LANL that leaked last February, shutting down WIPP.

He says the second round of fines is going to be much higher.

Crews extinguish flames at Hi-Lo Market

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque fire crews were called to the Hi-Lo Market off 4th Street at about 4 a.m. Thursday Smoke was coming from the building and crews found a small fire in the back storage area of the store. They were able to get the fire under control in minutes. They say something mechanical caused it. No injuries were reported and the damage was minimal. The store will remain closed for a couple of days.

Mother accused of driving drunk, crashing with child

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A young mother is accused of drinking and driving and rolling over her car with her 3-year-old inside.

Carlsbad police say 22-year-old Ashley Lopez picked up her son from her parents home after drinking at a bar.

She then lost control of her car and flipped it.

Officers gave her a breathalyzer test and say she blew over the legal limit.

Her son was treated for minor scrapes and bruises.

Lopez will go before a judge next month on DWI and child abuse charges.

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