Burglary, car theft suspect arrested in Polvadera

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A Socorro man has been arrested and charged with four felonies in connection with a burglary and car theft on Feb. 2.

Colton Pearce, 28, is facing one count each of residential burglary, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, larceny and receiving or disposing of stolen property.

According to the criminal complaint, dated Feb. 6, Socorro Police Officer Matt Lyon responded on Sunday, Feb. 2, to the home of Janet Lucero at 1009 Sean Ave. on a report of a burglary and auto theft, where keys to a 2011 Toyota Highlander, along with jewelry and credit cards, were taken while the victim was asleep in another room.

The complaint stated that the next day, Feb. 3, an online check on one of the credit cards by the victim’s daughter, Angela Lucero, showed that it “had been used at the Shell gas station.” Detectives Richard Lopez and Rocky Fernandez viewed the security camera video at the Shell station and recognized the individual using the card as Colton Pearce.

Further investigation revealed that Pearce was staying in Polvadera on the property of another man, Carl Smith, who was well known to Lopez, the complaint stated. On the property were three camper trailers.

“I knocked on the door of Carl’s trailer and heard voices inside. But no one answered,” Lopez stated in the complaint. “I noted a small silver and green camper south of Carl’s camper. I knocked on the door of this camper. As I did so I heard voices inside. I heard a female voice saying something to the effect of ‘they’re looking for you.’”

In the meantime, Fernandez questioned the occupant of a third camper, who said he was allowing a female named Marae to stay in the camper with her boyfriend.

“We informed (him) that we were looking for Colton Pearce and that since they did not want to open the door to the trailer, we would be obtaining a search warrant,” the complaint said. “He stated that the trailer was his and he would open the door.”

Upon opening the door to the trailer, detectives saw Pearce sitting in a chair; he was taken into custody and placed in the patrol car.

“As I was speaking with Colton, Marae walked to Colton’s car and reached into the door,” Lopez wrote in the complaint. “This was seen by Det. Fernandez, who then walked over … and was able to see in plain view several small oxygen bottles in Colton’s car.”

The victim’s car had oxygen bottles inside it when taken. Other stolen items were retrieved from Pearce’s car.

Pearce eventually admitted to his involvement in the crime; the stolen Highlander was located in San Lorenzo Canyon.

Pearce was transported to the Socorro Police Department and then to the Socorro County Detention Center and booked on an arrest order from the Adult Probation and Parole Office.

The jewelry retrieved from Pearce’s car was identified by the victim.

Pearce is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge Jim Naranjo for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 19.