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Artesia man arrested for August vehicle theft, child abuse

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ARTESIA — An Artesia man was arrested last week on charges relating to an incident that occurred in August.

Artesia Police Department officers were dispatched around 4 a.m. Aug. 10 to the 100 block of JJ Clarke Drive in reference to a motor vehicle accident with injuries. Upon arrival, officers found a black-and-orange Polaris tipped onto its right side on the sidewalk. The Polaris was missing its roof and windshield.

As police approached the vehicle, they found a black semi-automatic firearm near the Polaris. The gun was identified as an H&K .40-caliber pistol listed as stolen.

Artesia Fire Department EMS was on scene treating a 16-year-old male, and police made contact with another male, later identified as Armando Solin Casares, 19, of Artesia.

According to the criminal complaint, Casares admitted to being behind the wheel of the Polaris with his brother in the passenger seat.

The complaint states Casares said he went for a run on the morning of Aug. 9 and noticed the Polaris sitting in a ditch near his home, unattended. He said he left the vehicle and jogged home, but after having “a few drinks” that evening, he decided to go back to where the Polaris was located. Finding it again unattended, Casares turned the ignition and started the vehicle.

According to the complaint, the Polaris had initially been reported stolen May 23 to the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office, having been taken from a residence in the 2000 block of Maple Street and involved in several crime reports since made to the ECSO.

Casares was placed under arrest at the scene for aggravated DWI, and a warrant was later issued for his arrest on charges of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and abuse of a child. He was taken into custody Monday on those charges as well as a magistrate warrant for failure to comply with conditions of release.

Casares was bound over Wednesday in Artesia Magistrate Court.

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