Robbery suspect walks out of custody; faulty lock to blame
Los Lunas police arrested a robbery suspect Tuesday, who escaped police custody a day earlier.
Police arrested 28-year-old Zachary Green at a hotel in Albuquerque after detectives learned he frequented the location.
Los Lunas police worked with the U.S. Marshals Service on the arrest. He is expected to be charged with armed robbery.
Green escaped police custody Monday by simply opening the door of his holding cell about 11:15 a.m., according to Los Lunas Police Lt. Naithan Gurule.
Gurule said Green, a Los Lunas resident, was being detained in one of the department’s two holding cells and is suspected of committing two separate robberies of different Walgreens pharmacies earlier this month.
On Monday, Green walked out of the cell while detectives were in the process of obtaining a search warrant for the man’s home.
According to Gurule, the locking mechanism on the cell malfunctioned and did not work properly.
The man walked out of the cell and into a hallway that led to an exit. He was in the cell for about 30 minutes.
“This is not something that is a normal occurrence,” Gurule said.
Gurule said the holding cell lock has had similar issues in the past and was repaired about a year ago. Department officials are in the process of fixing the lock.
The man is suspected of walking into two different Walgreen’s pharmacies and demanding an undisclosed amount of “high powered prescription pain narcotics” from the pharmacist on both occasions.
During one of the incidents, police said the man pointed a firearm at the pharmacist before demanding the painkillers. No one was injured in either incident.
Gurule said police got a tip Sunday that Green may have been involved with the robberies. The next day, detectives took Green to the Los Lunas Police Department after police “had enough” to detain him, Gurule said.
Police were unable to find the man after a search was conducted of the immediate area with “every available officer” and K-9 units.
Both Los Lunas High School and Katherine Gallegos Elementary School were locked down in the afternoon hours as a precautionary measure.
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