SANTA FE (KRQE) - A school board member with a history of DWI arrests is in trouble again. This time, for what he did with a large sculpture of an iguana.
Santa Fe County detectives said he stole it from the Buffalo Thunder Resort and add there is videotape to prove it.
Meet Iggy, a 4-foot-long bronze sculpture weighing somewhere between 50 and 100 pounds and the center of a Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office investigation.
“It was an interesting case. Not very often are we able to locate a 4-foot bronze iguana,” saidsheriff's Lt. William Pacheco.
On the night of Sept. 26 Iggy went missing from his home here in the Red Sage Bar at Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino.
Detectives easily identified Pojoaque Valley School board member Jon Paul Romero as the culprit saying he is a regular there.
The video isn't being released, but KRQE News 13 was told told security cameras captured Romero picking up the sculpture and walking out with it.
“In the video, you can clearly see Mr. Romero in a lime-green shirt walking out the doors with the iguana,” Pacheco said.
The sculpture is worth at least $5,000 escalating a theft into a felony larceny case.
When Romero ran for a Santa Fe County Commission seat in 2010, records showed he'd had six DWI arrests and two convictions.
District Attorney Angela “Spence” Pacheco said Romero was under the influence when he stole the iguana, but because this is his first felony, he is being referred to a preprosecution program to get treatment instead of facing charges.
Romero didn't answer when KRQE News 13 went to his home Thursday.
As for Iggy, he is back in his natural habitat following a search of Romero's home the day after the theft.
“They looked through the front doo,r and they actually saw the bronze statue of the iguana in the front living room,” Pacheco said.
While Romero did not return phoned requests for comment, his attorney said Romero is taking responsibility for what he did.
The property was recovered without any damage.
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