Officials have caught up with a burglar who has been terrorizing businesses in Hobbs.
For two years, police have been searching for the serial burglar. The investigation came to a head Tuesday night when they arrested 45-year-old Manuel Muro.
“We obtained enough probable cause where we obtained a search warrant which allowed us to put a GPS monitoring device on his vehicle,” said Shane Blevins, Hobbs Police Department.
Using that tracker, detectives traced his car to a field when an alarm went off at a nearby business.
Police were waiting for him at his car when he returned. He tried to flee but didn’t get far.
Muro is accused of breaking into and stealing from more than 30 businesses, some multiple times.
“He would take a few hundred dollars here and there from different businesses, and at one point he took almost $4,000 from a business,” said Blevins.
That business is the Tate Branch Dodge dealership in town, Muro’s biggest victim.
Fleet manager Terry Criswell says Muro cost them way more in damage breaking into the building than what he took.
“We even went as far as putting a big alarm system in. That didn’t affect him,” said Criswell. “Took a cutting torch from the shop, used it over in the office cutting [the] safe open.”
“The average time in each business was about an hour,” said Blevins.
The police department released surveillance video of Muro during one of his hits in July.
The say with the tips they received, along with an FBI sketch and forensic evidence left behind, such as a shoe print, they were able to identify Muro as their suspect.
Investigators say when questioned, he told them he was just out for “a walk.”
“We can prove that otherwise,” said Blevins.
Police said Muro also stole four guns in his spree of thefts.
Criswell said he’s glad Muro was finally caught.
“We were spending more out here at night than we were during the daylight hours,” said Criswell.
No money has been recovered.
Muro is charged with 38 counts of commercial burglary, along with several other charges.
He is in jail on a no bond hold.