A Santa Fe man was arrested after police say he attempted to steal over $200,000 worth of jewelry from the Momeni Gallery off Old Santa Fe Trail early Monday morning. 

Police responded to the gallery around 3:15 a.m. after receiving notice that an alarm had been triggered. When they arrived, they found 25-year-old Edgar Guzman standing in the gallery's courtyard holding a black backpack and a large, bayonet-style knife, according to a criminal complaint filed in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court. 

Investigators learned Guzman had placed more than 100 Southwestern-style jewelry items in the backpack, along with cash and coins, the affidavit said. When questioned, Guzman initially said he just took the backpack. Store employees estimated between the cash and jewelry, $236,892 worth of items had been taken.

It was the second night in a row Guzman had visited the downtown gallery. 

According to the affidavit, he admitted to breaking into the gallery the night before at about the same time and stealing a few items, which he later admitted to selling on the Plaza for around $300. 

Guzman was taken into custody and booked into the Santa Fe County jail. He had three outstanding bench warrants for his arrest. 

(10) comments

Lyndell Vallner

I imagine the people on the Plaza who bought jewelry from him after that first night's robbery got a huge deal...and are long gone.

Gus Walbolt

I have a friend who has boutique stores in San Francisco, Portland, NYC and LA. He has had more night time break-ins and daytime shoplifting in the last 18 months than in the previous 15 years. This isn't just a local Santa Fe or NM problem, this is nationwide.

Khal Spencer

This is New Mexico. He will be back on the street before the P.D. has a chance to finish the paperwork.

Emily Koyama

200K in jewelry?

May I suggest, that this galley invest 1% of that amount for a safe.

Khal Spencer

I suspect most stores didn't think it was worth the additional time and effort to put stuff away in a safe at the end of the day and drag it back out in the morning. But if this stuff starts being the norm, that will change. Hence higher costs.

They could also hire more private security. I put myself through college working as a campus security guard. It didn't pay a lot, and I suspect private security guards don't make much either, which perhaps makes that an affordable option. Our job was not to run to serious trouble but to patrol, make sure doors were locked, and get on the radio and get the Rochester cops there if the SHTF.

We were not allowed to be armed (it was a termination offense) but we rarely needed the added hassle anyway. But if I were guarding hundreds of thousands in choice merchandise, I think that would be a different story.

As long as we put more handcuffs on the criminal justice system than we do on the perps, this will get worse.

Ed Hardlied

Vis a vis hiring security, see National Guard theft article in today's paper.

Khal Spencer

Not surprised. One of the guards I worked with back in my college days didn't realize he was on closed circuit TV when he tried to lift a TV set out of a med school office. Bingo.

Lynn k Allen

3 outstanding warrants.

Keep him in jail this time!

Richard Reinders

He will be out for lunch.

Barry Rabkin

Because our so-called 'criminal justice' system is out to lunch.

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