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Suspected jewelry thief linked to crime by empty Coke can

Ramon Herrera, 33.

Ramon Herrera, 33.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A man allegedly burglarized $250,000 worth of jewelry from a Tanoan home last month, but police say he didn’t make his escape without leaving the vacationing homeowners something in return.

He took a Coca Cola out of their fridge, drank it, and left the can on the kitchen table with a note propped up against it. “Sorry,” it read.

Police were called to the home in September after the homeowner returned from vacation with his family and found his back sliding door was smashed. Their jewelry was gone.

The suspect also used their bathroom without flushing the toilet, police said.

Police swabbed the soda can and a flashlight left in the home to try to find DNA evidence from the offender. “(The detective) failed to collect any samples from the used toilet,” reads a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.

A few days later, the family found footprints and a sweatshirt behind their wall, leading away from the house and into a bordering field.

DNA collected from the Coca Cola can matched to a suspect, identified as 33-year-old Ramon Herrera. Herrera had sold jewelry to local pawn shops nine times shortly after the burglary.

He was charged with residential burglary and larceny over $20,000 and booked into the county jail.

 

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