Deputies continue to look for burglary suspects

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Rio Grande Elementary School in Belen was on lockdown Friday as the Valencia County SWAT team searched for one of two burglary suspects along East Side School Road, a few blocks away from the school.

According to Valencia County Sheriff's Sgt. Alan Montano, the team was dispatched to a neighborhood just south of the school to help locate a suspect involved in a burglary on Morgan Road, northeast of Belen.

A portion of East Side School Road was blocked off while police from Belen, Los Lunas and the Valencia County Sheriff's Office combed the nearby area.

Officers searched a home, but as of 11:30 a.m, the suspect was not located.

On Wednesday, deputies were dispatched to a residence on Morgan Road following an incident where one of the two suspects shot at a neighbor who was trying to subdue them following the burglary.

According to a police report, the neighbor parked his pickup in the driveway of the home being burglarized, blocking the suspect's vehicle, which was trying to leave the scene about 12:15 p.m.

The neighbor parked his 2004 white Chevy Silverado in the driveway after he saw two males walking outside the front door with household items in their hands.

The suspects, described as tall, bald-headed and light skinned, attempted to leave the residence.

The report said when the neighbor refused to move, the driver of the maroon four-door car, pulled out a handgun and fired two rounds at the neighbor. The bullets hit the upper portion of the hood of the pickup and the front bumper.

Shortly after, the neighbor moved his pickup, and the suspect's vehicle sped out of the driveway and hit the driver's side door and broke off the rear view mirror. The man did not suffer serious injuries.

Homeowner Denise Jaramillo said she was on the way to pick up her children from school when the robbery took place. She said she was unaware what happened until she received a call about the incident.

Deputies found the front door kicked in and the house was left in "disarray."

On Thursday, deputies spent time recreating the crime scene and examined the pickup truck.

Along with a television, her childrens' game console, and nearly all of her jewelry, Jaramillo said a fireproof security box was taken from the residence that had "irreplaceable" items in it.

She said the box, which looks similar to a safe, had records and photos of her two adopted children.

The children were adopted from the Ukraine and China over the last 10 years and Jaramillo had their original birth certificates in the box.

"To us, it's like their life story," Jaramillo said.

Jaramillo said much of the contents are impossible to recreate and she is asking the public to be on the lookout for any item that matches its description.

She said there were also journals that described the children's specific adoption process and film negatives from the children's birth. She said the documents aren't like other household items.

"These items are irreplaceable," Jaramillo said. "It's something you can't recreate."


-- Email the author at bruffner@news-bulletin.com.