Doña Ana County



Doña Ana County Sheriff’s investigators made one arrest following a weekend robbery, and are hoping the public can lead them to two more that were part of a trio of men who allegedly robbed the Mesquite Mercantile on Saturday morning, making off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
The incident happened around 9:10 a.m. on Dec. 10, when two men entered the Mesquite Mercantile on Highway 478, just north of Mesquite Dr.

In a surveillance video, one of the alleged robbers can be seen jumping the store counter, threatening the clerk with a large knife while he cleaned out the cash drawer. The man is seen wearing khaki pants, tan boots and a black hooded sweatshirt pulled over a baseball cap.

A witness told investigators the man who took the money fled on foot, but they were able to positively identify another man who investigators say was the lookout, and was seen standing outside the entrance to the store while the crime was committed.

Pete Maldonado, 15, was arrested Saturday and charged with armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. He is being held at the Doña Ana County Juvenile Detention Center.

A third man was seen standing across the street from the store, but was not caught on video surveillance. No description was given.

During the investigation, sheriff’s deputies questioned a fourth man who was with Maldonado, but is not believed to be linked to the robbery. Martin Tovar, 25, was on probation at the time and admitted to drinking a shot of alcohol “for medicinal purposes.” The drink is a violation of his probation, which stemmed from a residential burglary and larceny charges on Mar. 31, 2010. Tovar is being held without bond at the Doña Ana County Detention Center.
Anyone who recognizes the man seen in the video surveillance is asked to contact the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department, (575) 525-8806. Anonymous tips can also be made to Las Cruces Crime Stoppers, 1-800-222-TIPS or via text message to LCTIPS (528477).