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Social media post helps ID suspect in church theft case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — First, he disregarded one of the Ten Commandments — inside a church, no less — the one about not stealing.

A security camera image of the man who stole a backpack and $2,200 laptop computer from Calvary Chapel Three Crosses Church in Las Cruces earlier this year. Police have charged a man in connection with the case. (Source: Las Cruces Police Department)

Then, he responded to a social media post bearing his picture and asked that the image be removed.

The picture in the post IDed the suspect who had swiped a backpack and a $2,200 computer from inside Calvary Chapel Three Crosses in Las Cruces in early June.

Now, 40-year-old Eric Martin Carnero of Las Cruces has been charged with larceny of more than $500, a fourth-degree felony.

That’s all according to the Las Cruces Police Department, which detailed the events that followed the June 6 theft in a news release on Tuesday.

Officers learned the church at 4302 Bataan Memorial West had a security camera system that captured images of the suspect.

“The owner of the backpack posted surveillance camera still images of the suspect on a social media page. The post generated several responders who identified the suspect as Eric Martin Carnero,” the release reads. “Carnero, himself, responded to the social media post and asked that his image be removed from the site.”

LCPD says investigators reviewed the security camera images with a known photo of Carnero and positively identified him as the case suspect.

Officers issued an arrest warrant this month and police say Careno surrendered himself to Magistrate Court Tuesday morning.