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New Mexico suspect sought in Chromo burglary

A high speed chase that began in New Mexico Friday could lead to an arrest warrant for burglary in Archuleta County for one New Mexico resident.

Friday night, the Archuleta County Sheriff’s office received information from the New Mexico State Police that they were pursuing a car on U.S. 84 and were headed toward Archuleta County.

Early reports to Det. George Barter, of the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Department, indicated that the man in the car possibly tried to ram the pursuing police cars.

The vehicle’s registered owner, Chris Trujillo, was wanted in New Mexico for a parole violation.

New Mexico police ceased their chase at the state border. After being given the description of the car, license plate information and the name of the registered owner, a search for the car by the sheriff’s department proved fruitless.

Saturday night, a neighbor reported a burglary at 2552 U.S. 84, near Chromo. The neighbor reported that the gate on the road leading to the residence had been knocked down, and a deputy, after walking through waist-deep snow, found signs of forced entry into the home, Barter said.

While the deputy was checking the home, a vacation home that was unoccupied at the time, the phone rang and a woman asked to speak with Trujillo — the registered owner of the vehicle out of New Mexico. The woman said Trujillo had called her from the number the night before.

“That’s what we call a clue,” said Barter.

“Someone had gone in there and pretty much trashed the place and set up camp,” Barter said, adding that chairs were set up facing the road and a mattress was pulled into the living room.

Barter further reported that the burglar had started a fire in the fireplace, apparently cooked ramen noodles, then left sometime that night or the next day, likely when he felt it was safe to do so.

Though the burglar left the scene before law enforcement arrived, Barter said he will seek laboratory investigation, probably through DNA, on evidence collected from the home.

“We’ll submit evidence to CBI (Colorado Bureau of Investigation) for analysis and see if we can get a hit for this guy, or for someone else, based on DNA,” Barter said.

If, indeed, Trujillo, or someone else, matches the DNA analysis, a warrant for an arrest will be issued and put into the National Crime Information Center database. The database is available to federal, state and local law enforcement, as well as other criminal justice agencies.

randi@pagosasun.com