LCPD: Suspect broke into dollar store to steal cigarettes, bumped into police officer

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Police say the immediate arrest of a man suspected of breaking into and burglarizing an East Mesa store was possible thanks to an alert neighbor and a police officer in the right place at the right time.

Esteban Rodriguez, 36, of the 6700 block of Jack Rabbit Road, is charged with non-residential burglary.

The alleged burglary happened shortly after 11 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30th.

A Las Cruces police officer patrolling the East Mesa heard an alarm coming from the Dollar General store at 4955 Mesa Grande Blvd.

The officer walked around the building to investigate the burglary when a neighbor yelled out to the officer to let him know the alleged burglar was nearby.

Police say the officer came across a masked man carrying a box and bag. The masked man dropped the items and tried to run away, leading the officer on a brief foot pursuit.

The officer utilized his taser to apprehend the suspect, later identified as Rodriguez.

Investigators learned Rodriguez smashed the store's front window, entered and grabbed several packs of cigarettes.

The alert neighbor told detectives he was sitting on his front porch and witnessed Rodriguez break into the store.

Rodriguez was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he's initially being held without bond.

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