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Home Invasion Turns into Apartment Fire, One Charged in the Chaos

BY: ABQ RAW staff

POSTED: 08/23/2023 @ 12:30PM

Albuquerque -

On Tuesday, August 22, 2023, law enforcement personnel were dispatched to an apartment located at 3210 Tulane Dr NE #44 after receiving reports of a residential burglary in progress. The situation unfolded when a male and female forcefully breached the front door, gaining entry into the residence with a firearm in tow.

Upon arrival at the scene, the responding officer engaged with the caller, who, detailed that an unfamiliar female had entered his apartment and inquired about something referred to as "Blues." (street slang for fentanyl) The situation escalated as the female attempted to harm a pregnant woman, using a knife or a shard of glass. In his effort to intervene, the male victim resorted to using physical force, including biting the female's hand and restraining her.

The situation took a darker turn when a random male subject arrived at the scene and deliberately set fire to the apartment's front door. That individual was identified as Robert Chavez, 35, of Albuquerque.

The incendiary act further compounded the chaos of the burglary. Albuquerque Fire Rescue was dispatched to the scene to put out the fire and witnesses said one victim had even jumped from the balcony to escape danger.

Subsequent investigations led officers to detain individuals camping in the outdoor hallway of the apartment complex, among them was Richard Chavez. Chavez's information was run through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), revealing an existing felony warrant against him.

Upon searching his belongings on the balcony, law enforcement discovered a small bag containing a crystalline substance. Preliminary testing suggested that the substance was methamphetamine. Additionally, officers uncovered five cylindrical tubes with burnt ends, three pieces of foil with charred sides, and a blue pill marked with the numbers "30" and "M."

The criminal complaint does not state what happened to the original female who was aggressive with occupants of the apartment.

As a result of these findings and the outstanding felony warrant, Richard Chavez was taken into custody. Charges include Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Following his arrest, Chavez was transported to the Prisoner Transport Center (PTC), where he underwent processing and booking procedures.

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