Belen

Acting on a tip from an anonymous citizen Wednesday, police arrested a man who is a suspect in the hold-up of a local convenience store early Monday.

Jose A. Carrillo, 25, was arrested and charged with armed robbery, receiving or transferring stolen property, burglary and conspiracy. Police charge that Carrillo was the man who held up a clerk at Circle K just after midnight Monday.

Belen Police Detective Sgt. Joe Griego said Carrillo is originally from California and has lived in the Belen area for a few months.

Both Griego and Belen Police Chief Paul Skotchdopole said they credit the anonymous citizen for helping them find the suspect. The caller told police they recognized the suspect in a surveillance photograph published in the Sept. 18 edition of the News-Bulletin.

“We received an anonymous call from a person who said that they knew who the person was in the newspaper and knew where he could be located,” Skotchdopole said. “We were able to obtain that information and we went over to an apartment on the 300 block of Perizette Street.”

When police arrived at the apartment, they asked the person who opened the door if Carrillo was there. Skotchdopole said the person said he didn’t know but gave police permission to search the apartment.

“We went into the apartment and, as I went into one of the bedrooms, I saw a woman sitting on a mattress on the floor,” Skotchdopole said. “I asked her if she was the only one in the room, and she said she was. At that point, I turned to the right to check the closet, and I saw an individual hiding in the closet.”

Skotchdopole said he drew his weapon and ordered the man to get out of the closet.

The police chief said he recognized the man from the surveillance photographs. Carrillo was then handcuffed by Lt. Mike Chavez and taken into custody without incident.

“We did recover a BB gun that looks like a semi-automatic 9 mm handgun very similar to what the clerk had described,” Skotchdopole said. “We also found a couple of knives, one on top of the closet and one on the ground near where he was hiding.”

Griego said that, while officers searched the apartment, they recovered several checks that had been reported stolen from a house on Third Street last week.

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Clara Garcia is the editor and publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
She is a native of the city of Belen, beginning her journalism career at the News-Bulletin in 1998 as the crime and courts reporter. During her time at the paper, Clara has won numerous awards for her writing, photography and typography and design both from the National Newspaper Association and the New Mexico Press Association.