2 convicted burglars continue to cause problems in one New Mexico village

Crime

JEMEZ SPRINGS (KRQE) – Not even the police appear to be safe from a group of convicted burglars who have been tormenting a New Mexico community for years and after the latest run-in, they were back on the streets in no time. Anger and frustration keep building in the small, close-knit community of Jemez Springs. “They get released and then we’re back to playing the cat and mouse game again,” said Felix Nunez, Jemez Spring police chief.


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Nunez says the same group of burglars has been terrorizing people for years even while out on probation. “I mean, these guys don’t care. They continue doing what they want to do,” Nunez said. Recently, his department got hit too. “They basically took all the stuff that was that would be used for police and security. We were concerned because our uniforms were taken,” Nunez said.

He said the thieves took boxes of utility belts, holsters, and a full set up for another police cruiser totaling at least $3,000. “Our suspects were Nehemiah Hillhouse, his brother Nahm Hillhouse,” Nunez said.

Not long after the break-in, Sandoval County deputies searched the Hillhouse home, finding a duty belt stolen from the police department; a drill press reported stolen from Los Alamos National Lab, and a U.S. Forest Service uniform was also reported stolen. Months later, a probation officer searched the home of Dalton Strain, a known associate of the Hillhouse’s.

Strain and Nehemiah Hillhouse were on the property. The officer reportedly found alcohol, drugs, and stolen firearms. “They catch them with this stuff and we’re looking at the photos and there’s our holsters that were stolen from our storage,” Nunez said.

Nahm Hillhouse eventually did get locked up again and is in the Department of Corrections. However, Judge Christopher Perez recently let Nehemiah and Strain, both felons, out because it was just a few days away from Christmas. “When you catch a felon with possession of stolen firearms and because Christmas is around the corner, ‘well we’re going to release you for Christmas,'” Nunez said.

Nunez said that isn’t fair to the people of Jemez Springs, his department, or the town’s volunteer fire department. Their shed was recently broken into as well and while no one has been officially charged, Nunez has some ideas as to who was behind it. Nehemiah Hillhouse does have another probation violation hearing in just a few weeks. A spokesperson for the Sandoval County District Attorney’s Office says they will again do everything they can to make sure he’s held accountable and locked up.

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