Published: 2:12 pm, Tue. Nov. 1st, 2016Updated: 2:11 pm
A Roswell man is in custody on multiple charges related to the burglarizing of the Dollar General in the Abo Shopping Center.
At approximately 5 a.m. Sunday, officers with the Artesia Police Department were dispatched to the Dollar General location in reference to a burglary alarm. Upon arrival, they observed a lock on the front door had been broken and a cigarette display case inside had been forced, with boxes of cigarettes scattered on the floor.
Officers were able to view the store’s surveillance video footage, which showed a silver Ford Ranger pickup pulling up to the front of the building just before 5 a.m. A subject wearing a dark blue hooded sweatshirt, jeans, tan work boots, rubber latex gloves, and a dark bandana partially covering his face was seen tampering with the locking mechanism on the door and entering the store once it was forced.
The subject was then seen attempting to open a cash register before moving to the cigarette case. After forcing the doors, he began removing cartons of cigarettes and left the scene in the Ford Ranger.
During the investigation, the manager of Dollar General noted a black box beside the register that did not belong to the store. It was determined the box belonged to Auto Zone, and while en route to that business to determine whether another burglary had occurred, officers noted the silver Ford Ranger from the surveillance video exiting the parking lot of O’Reilly Auto Parts on Main Street.
Officers attempted to negotiate a traffic stop but the vehicle did not comply, travelling through the alleyway on the west side of the Blue Quail Shopping Center, turning around in a vacant lot, then accelerating quickly toward 20th and Main streets, continuing south on 20th Street. The truck ran the four-way stop at 20th and Grand Avenue, turned right onto Grand, and continued to flee police at speeds approaching 45 mph before ultimately turning into a parking lot in the 2300 block of West Grand Avenue.
The driver, who officers were able to observe during the pursuit as matching the description of the burglary suspect, then lost control of the pickup and struck a chain link fence. He exited and jumped the six-foot fence, running around the building before he was tased by an APD officer.
Following a medical examination by Artesia EMS, the subject was identified as Erik C. Page, 31, of Roswell.
In plain sight of officers inside the pickup were pliers, a screwdriver, and a hammer, as well as a tumbler locking device consistent with that which was removed from the Dollar General door. The vehicle was towed to the Artesia Public Safety Complex while a warrant was obtained for further examination.
Page was taken into custody on charges of burglary, possession of burglary tools, criminal damage, larceny (under $500 but over $250), and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.