Socorro Church Burglar Arrested, Charged For Other Crimes

| May 7, 2010

SOCORRO, Texas — Socorro police arrest Antonio Arroyos, 28, on Monday on suspicion of breaking into churches, but they also charge him with prohibited weapon and retaliation.

Mike Garcia with the Corpus Christi Catholic Church said the burglar must have taken about a $1,000 on April 6.

"It's sad. Our parishioners and our parish , we work hard to maintain the building and the church and for someone to come and do this to us," said Garcia.

El Paso police officials said Arroyos is to blame for the Corpus Christi break-ins.

Socorro police believe he broke into Saint Peter and Paul Catholic Church three times. They said they believe on April 7 he took the collection box; on April 8 he took a plasma television and April 14 he took the collection box again.

They said they suspect him in the break-in at the Socorro Mission.

"The person kicked it thinking that because there's a saint here that there was a money box in there," said Deacon William Reyes.

Reyes said the burglar broke a window to gain entry then took off with the collection box.

"It's very had to understand it and hard to accept that there are people out there that would do such a crime to a sacred place," said Reyes.

Police said they haven't been able to link Arroyos directly to it.

Early Monday morning, a Socorro police officer recognized Arroyos at the Circle K on North Loop. They believe Arroyos was about to rob the clerk because of what they found inside his pocket.

"He was reaching into his pocket when the officers approached him. When they had him take his hands out of his pocket they pulled out an illegal knife, over six inches. We believed we stopped the robbery from taking place," said Socorro Chief Jaime Avalos.

KFOX obtained the arrest affidavit that includes threats made by Arroyos to a Socorro police officer. He said: "They are going to break into your home and rape your wife in front of you and there is nothing you can do."

"Sounds like a dangerous guy," said KFOX reporter Monica Balderrama.

"He really is. Right now we're trying to determine to see if he has any ties with the cartels, or any of the gangs affiliated with the cartels because of the language that he's using," said Avalos.

Currently, Arroyos is charged with burglary, theft, carrying a prohibited weapon and for retaliation against an officer.

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Category: Church Security

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