Home surveillance leads to serial burglar’s arrest

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – His crimes were caught on camera and now police have caught him. Homeowners are breathing a sigh of relief, saying their surveillance systems paid off.

“We were about to go out and start looking for him ourselves.”

A little more than a month has passed since George Padilla’s neighbor was burglarized.

“We’re just glad that they picked him up,” Padilla said.

He’s Anthony Chavez, a 24-year-old career criminal. Police said he was armed when he robbed
that home near Lomas and Morningside in April.

He didn’t stop there. Chavez also hit a home in Siesta Hills near the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital, according to police.

“This guy is terrorizing residents,” Officer Simon Drobik said. “There were people home when he was burglarizing these houses.”

KRQE News 13 spoke to the owner of that home over the phone Sunday night.

“When we get (a burglar) off the streets, I think everybody feels a little safer,” Jerome Eckstein said. “Getting that video surveillance out there really aided everybody’s efforts into capturing this guy.”

Police said detectives had been following tips on Chavez and one recognized him right away. He was arrested on Friday.

In court Sunday, he didn’t have much to say. A judge, though, spent nearly 90 seconds listing off his charges.

“Hopefully he’ll be there for quite some time so that we won’t be running around and watching our backs,” Padilla said.

Police, too, are happy to have Chavez locked up.

“It’s one less guy on the streets breaking into your house, into my house,” Drobik said. ‘It’s a good day for Albuquerque. It’s a good day for the police department.”

Police also connected Chavez to a list of other crimes including aggravated assault and stealing a car.

He will have to fork over a lot of money to get out of jail. His bond is set at $255,000 cash or surety.

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