Three arrested for metal theft

Freedom New Mexico

Three Clovis residents were arrested this week in unrelated incidents of copper and scrap metal theft, according to a press release from the Curry County Sheriff’s Office.

Undersheriff Wesley Waller said the arrests have helped his office gain ground in the battle against scrap metal thefts in the county.
“This is helping a great deal with the discoveries made on these two investigations,” he said.

Waller said metal theft has been and continues to be a department focus.

Another step in the battle, Waller said, is legislation signed into law Thursday by the governor. Scrap metal dealers are now required to document the identification of sellers. They will also be required to maintain those files for three years.

“It will aid law enforcement with the investigation of this type of crime,” he said.

The documentation creates a paper trail law enforcement hopes will lead them to metal thieves, he said.

Michael Casanas, 34, of Clovis was arrested Tuesday, charged with two counts of larceny over $2,500 and is being held on a $20,000 cash only bond, the release said.

Johnny Fain, 47, and Colleen Harmon-Castillo, 44, both Clovis, were arrested Thursday, charged with felony larceny, criminal trespass and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer. Fain was also charged with felony criminal damage, the release said.

Fain was released on a $10,400 bond. Harmon-Castillo remains in custody, jail officials said.

Fain could not be reached for comment.

Casanas was apprehended when deputies caught him stealing scrap metal Tuesday from a field near Curry Roads 5 and L, the release said. Through an investigation, deputies discovered he had stolen more than 14,000 pounds of iron, aluminum and yellow brass, which he sold to local metal recycling companies, the release said.

Deputies responded to a report Thursday of two men and a woman stealing copper wire from property in the 1500 block of Wheaton, the release said.

Deputies fond Harmon-Castillo and Fain hiding in an unoccupied residence in the area of Upsilon and Zulik, the release said.

The stolen copper wire was estimated around $1,400 and the damage to the building from which it was removed was around $1,000, according to the release.